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PREP BASKETBALL: Big Heritage fourth quarter dooms Alcovy girls
Ajoyous Tuggle
Alcovy's Ajoyous Tuggle puts up a shot against Heritage during Wednesday night's Region 3-AAAAAA opener for both teams. -photo by Anthony Banks

CONYERS, Ga. — Shots were just not falling for the Alcovy Lady Tigers Wednesday night.

And these offensive struggles led to Alcovy (5-7, 0-1) falling to the Heritage Lady Patriots (6-4, 1-0) by a score of 49-32 in the Region 3-AAAAAA opener for both teams. 

Despite the offensive woes, the Tigers pulled within two baskets with about five minutes left to play in the fourth quarter. Trailing the Patriots by a score of 36-30, Alcovy forced a turnover but was not able to convert the turnover into points. 

“The main struggle: Shots were not falling, said Lady Tigers head coach, Justin Hunter. “We could have played better defense, so if you’re not scoring and not playing defense the correct way then, guess what, that outcome is not going to be preferable. Even with as bad as we played, at certain points, we were only down maybe two buckets.”

This inability to convert baskets was ultimately the demise for the Tigers as the Patriots dominated the fourth quarter from that five minute mark on out, turning a nail biter into what looked like a rout on the scoreboard.

Just as they had done all night long, Sade Harrell and Jayla Jefferies led the Patriots’ scoring charge in the final quarter’s offensive explosion as they finished the fourth with a combined 15 of the Patriots' 19 points. Both Jefferies and Harrell were the only Patriots to finish in double digits. 

Harrell led the way in the fourth as she finished with nine fourth quarter points of her own, going 8-for-8 from the free throw line. She was Heritage’s leading scorer with 13. 

Ajoyous Tuggle led the Lady Tigers also with a team-high 13 points, but she ended up being the Tigers’ only player to reach double digits. Tuggle was also one of just three Alcovy players to register a point in the first half, and this lack of offensive output gave the Tigers an uphill battle all night.

For that reason, cleaning up the team’s offensive efficiency will be at the forefront in practice this week among other things, according to Hunter.

“We just got to take care of some small minor things such as finishing defense, also some offensive efficiency issues,” said Hunter. “We’ll go back to the drawing board. That’s what we have days of practice for. And we’ll work on those things.”

There won’t be much turnaround time, as they’ll work to get ready to face the Greenbrier Wolfpack Saturday January 4 on the road at 6 p.m.