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PREP BASKETBALL: Alcovy shuts down opposition in season opening victory
Oliver Gerard
Alcovy Tigers Oliver Gerard fighting to the basket in the Tigers 54-39 victory over the Union Grove Wolverines. Photo by Michael Pope.

MCDONOUGH, Ga. — The Alcovy Tigers put on a dominant defensive display in their 54-39 road victory over the Union Grove Wolverines.

The Tigers went into the halftime break trailing the Wolverines by only a single point and took over the game in the second half. 

The Tigers played a press offense that seemed to work hard to trap the opposing basketball team on their side of the court and force turnovers. This style of play stymied the Wolverines and prevented them from ever getting their offense rolling in the second half. 

The Tigers outscored the Wolverines 12-3 in the third quarter, and they rode that tremendous defensive play until the end. 

Tigers' head coach Mack Hardwick said that this was the gameplan moving forward and that this was the style they have been training to implement all offseason. 

"That is the gameplan for the season. I'm a defense-first type of coach," Hardwick said. "We've been running the cardio the entire time just for the press."

The Tigers had multiple players contribute on the offensive side of the ball, but once again, it was Oliver Gerard leading the team with 20 points while also taking the lead in other facets of the game.

"He's definitely living up to the name Oliver Gerard and what not. It's very entertaining watching him," Hardwick said. "It's also entertaining watching his growth. He had a lot of growth tonight. He started at point guard tonight, and he ran it pretty well, and I was very proud of him."

With Gerard leading the way, Hardwick was also very proud of the other members of the Tigers squad that picked it up and helped lead the team to victory over the Wolverines. 

"Avion made a good run for us and Jamal played some intense defense for us," said Hardwick. "Trey also made sure that he had a lot of defensive intensity, was attacking the guys where we needed O, being a playmaker, so that was definitely big."

Avion Young finished with 13 points, Trey Howze finished with 10 points, while Jamal Donahue finished with 8 points. It was a strong showing for each of this players that ultimately led the Tigers to victory. 

As any coach, Hardwick is happy with the victory but still sees plenty of areas the team can improve if they hope to get where he is hoping to take them. 

"It feels real good, but we still have to go back to the lab and work on some things," Hardwick said. "We've got a lot to improve on, which is the basketball IQ of the game. So that's one thing we're more focused on so the players can read and react before the coaches say something."

The Tigers looked sharp in their first game of the season, and their press style of play should be fun to watch all season.