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PREP BASKETBALL: Alcovy Lady Tigers pull out win in OT on the road
Serai Johnson
Alcovy Lady Tigers Serai Johnson was one of her team's leading scorers with 15 points in their win over Discovery in overtime. Photo by Garrett Pitts.

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - The Alcovy Lady Tigers took down the Discovery Lady Titans 50-48 in an overtime game that was an early offensive struggle for both teams on Tuesday night.

The game started off slow for both teams, but Alcovy was the one to fall behind early, not capturing a lead the entire first half of the game. Despite being behind early, head coach Justin Hunter knew that a team such as Discovery was going to come ready to play, and he kept the team focused going through the periods of the game. 

“We knew we were coming into the game playing a 7-1 school, and that says to [Discovery’s talent] right there,” Hunter said. “I schedule these games for a reason; it gives us a playoff atmosphere before we get into region.”

Going into halftime, Alcovy was behind 16-19, with both teams struggling against stout defensive play from both sides, but halftime would come to be the turning point for the Lady Tigers. 

As the third period began to get underway, Alcovy looked to be a completely new team, changing the tempo and limiting the scoring opportunities in the post that allowed Discovery to get to the first-half lead.

“We knew we made a couple of small plays during the first half that allowed the score to reflect a situation we did not want,” Hunter said. “We knew that with the lead, it was that we could make our adjustments in the second half, and if we executed, we would come out with the result we want.”

Great play from Serai Johnson began to separate the Lady Tigers from Discovery in the third quarter, as Johnson would score half of Alcovy’s points in the period to help outscore the Lady Titans 8-2 and take the lead going into the final quarter.

It would take until halfway through the fourth quarter for the Lady Titans to score. Despite the offensive struggles for Discovery late, they were able to put together a late run to take the lead with under a minute left in the game. 

As the time was getting to a minute left with Alcovy down by six, Ajoyous Tuggle would convert the and-one and pull the Lady Tigers closer. With 17 seconds left, Tuggle would get the ball again, sinking the three-pointer to tie the game and send it to overtime.

As the four minutes of overtime got underway, Discovery’s offense would not let up despite big plays from the Lady Tigers, including a pivotal three-pointer by Johnson to tie the game halfway through overtime.

With just under 30 seconds left in overtime, both Tuggle and Johnson would continue the hot streak against the Discovery offense. Tuggle’s three-pointer with just under half a minute left would pull the Lady Tigers within one point, which would eventually set up Johnson to make a three-pointer of her own. 

That three-pointer by Johnson with 13 seconds left would be the dagger that sealed then game for Alcovy as they claim the overtime thriller over the Lady Titans. 

“[The last minute] was a roller coaster, an emotional high,” Hunter said. “Almost going down that hill because of small mistakes, but we never stopped coaching, and our players never stopped playing.”

The Lady Tigers were led offensively by Tuggle, who finished the game with 14 points, and Johnson, who finished with 15 points. 

Coming off a loss to the Eastside Eagles in their last game, getting the win over a team like Discovery bodes well for the confidence of Hunter and the rest of the Lady Tigers as they progress throughout the rest of their season and eventually enter region play.

The Lady Tigers will hit the court for their next game on Friday, Dec. 13, against the South Gwinnett Comets.