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PREP BASKETBALL: Alcovy's early press too much to handle
Alcovy basketball
Alcovy's Avion Young (11) and Jaquez Snell (23) attempt to trap the Greenbrier Wolfpack ball handler, which they successfully did for much of the game. Photo by Michael Pope.

COVINGTON, Ga. - The Alcovy Tigers (11-9, 4-3 region 3-AAAAAA) were clicking on all cylinders as they were able to get everyone on their bench involved and cruise to an easy 94-82 victory over the visiting Greenbrier Wolfpack (7-15, 1-6 region 3-AAAAAA).

The Tigers dominated this game from the opening tip and seemed to be in full control for the whole ballgame. It was the Tigers' early defensive pressure that seemed to catch the Wolfpack off guard and stifle any attempt to get their offense going. 

The Tigers forced an unofficial nine steals in the first half alone, and that constant defensive pressure also led to errant passes that went out of bounds or other Wolfpack miscues. 

With the Tigers smothering defense keeping the Wolfpack off the scoreboard, their offense heated up early and helped build an early double-digit lead that the Wolfpack would be unable to overcome. 

At the end of the first quarter, the Tigers led by a score of 24-9, and they would push that lead to a 50-27 mark by the halftime break. Tigers head coach Mack Hardwick said he was pleased to see his team perform in such a way and take over the game early.

"I was really happy because they finally took care of business in the way that they should," said Hardwick.

"They're a really good team, and tonight they should that they're a great team."

With many players rotated onto the floor, Hardwick mentioned that he was happy to get other guys more playing time as it gave him a better idea of how deep his bench is with the region tournament only a few weeks away.

"It's nice to see how far into the bench I can go, especially around this time of the year, region time. I was trying to see what my depth chart was looking, and tonight I was able to see who I can play, where I can play them, and how they'll react," said Hardwick.

With so many players involved on the floor, the Tigers finished with six guys in double-digits with Oliver Gerard leading the way with 18 points. Following Gerard was Avion Young with 13 points and Tyreek Singleton with 12 points. 

A trio of guys with 10 points closed out the double-digit scoring for the Tigers, and they were Trevon Howze, Justin Evans, and Dylan Driver. Hardwick highlighted the hot early shooting from Howze and Young as a huge help in generating his team's early lead. 

"I'm really happy to see them do what we have been working on the entire season. We've worked on the press for the past few seasons, and my guards started off between Avion (Young) and Tre (Howze). I already know what my bigs are going to do with Oliver (Gerard) and Dylan (Driver) so I'm really happy with this win," said Hardwick.

With Gerard leading the way in scoring, Hardwick was proud of that scoring display but was more happy with what he has done when the ball is not in his hands. 

"Because of what he is doing is the reason why we are winning. His blocked shots, rebounding and all the things that are not showing up in the stat sheet, especially leading the team in the locker room and on the court," Hardwick said. 

The Tigers got a much-needed region win and hold on to the third-place position in region trailing the region leaders, Grovetown, by two games, and second place Evans by one game. 

The Tigers will look to move a game closer to first place in the region as they go on the road on Friday, Jan. 24, to face the Grovetown Warriors (18-3, 6-1 region 3-AAAAAA).