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PREP BASKETBALL: Lady Tigers pull off crucial road win on game-winning bucket from Tuggle
Ajoyous Tuggle
Alcovy Lady Tigers Ajoyous Tuggle (1) hit the game winning shot with 2.3 seconds left in the game to give her team a much-needed region win. Photo by Michael Pope.

EVANS, Ga. - With the game knotted at 44 points and a little over 20 seconds left to go, the Lady Tigers did not flinch and found a way to get to the basket while leaving minimal time on the board.

On a tough offensive night,  the team’s leading scorer Ajoyous Tuggle, who finished with 11 points,  found a way to drive the lane and put up a layup with only 2.3 seconds left in the game. 

While Tuggle was not the scoring stalwart that she usually is, she scored six of her team’s last eight points in a game that was within four for the final minutes. 

Tuggle said she did not let the pressure of the situation get to her and kept a simple mindset with the game on the line.

"I just knew I had to follow through and finish it," she said, "I knew I had to get something up and finish the game."

Head coach Justin Hunter said he was proud of Tuggle despite her struggles on the night and applauded her consistent effort throughout the contest.

"Tonight was not a perfect whole game by her like she normally has, but she did not let that deter her from finishing up the end, which was the most important shot and a big bucket," Hunter said. 

"Execution was much better as far as closing out the game tonight."

His praise for his players' tenacity and determination extended beyond just the play of Tuggle as he was proud of the group's collective effort. 

It was an all-around team win that required each player to contribute in some important form or fashion. Besides Tuggle's 11, other contributing players were Unique Reed, who finished with nine points, and Dalehia Bolden and Serai Johnson, who both finished with six points apiece. 

This was a much-needed region win as it kept the Lady Tigers in the thick of the region race as they remain tied with Lakeside in fourth, who defeated them in a tough game Jan. 10.

Hunter could not discount the importance of this game and made it known in his comments after the game.

"It was big. Let's not make any mistakes about it. We definitely should have had one Friday that we let get away from us," Hunter said. 

"To close out this one tonight was lovely. It was actually lovely."

Hunter and his Lady Tigers will hope that this clutch region win will propel them forward to more wins as they continue their region schedule against the Heritage Lady Patriots on Friday, Jan. 17.