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PREP BASKETBALL: Tigers split region games versus Heritage
Celebrate OT W
The Alcovy Tigers celebrated their first region win defeating Heritage High School 75-69 (OT) at home on Friday, Jan. 14 - photo by Phillip B. Hubbard

COVINGTON, Ga. — Friday night featured both of Alcovy’s region games against Heritage High School. Each game ended differently for the Tigers. 

Alcovy’s boys team won an overtime thriller 75-69 while the girls team lost 53-40. 


The Tigers found themselves in a back-and-forth battle that came down to the wire. So much so that Tiger faithfuls were awarded free basketball with a four-minute overtime period. 

Heading into overtime, the score was 60-60. 

To add to the intensity, with a minute remaining in the extra period, the Tigers only led by three points, 69-66. 

But, shortly after, Ben Hodges flew in to provide the needed separation. 

Following a missed layup, Hodges swarmed to collect the rebound and put it back up for a highly contested layup. The gymnasium exploded with cheers with Alcovy’s lead extended 71-66. 

Hodges may have given Alcovy the lead it needed down the stretch, but Kendarrius Spear provided the exclamation point to seal the deal. 

On a fast break where Spear found himself all alone, he slammed it home for a dunk that electrified every person in there cheering for the Tigers. Alcovy’s bench celebrated so much that the referees awarded Heritage two technical free throws. 

With just 1.5 seconds remaining, though, the game was already decided. 

Throughout the game, there were some gritty, hard fought moments from both sides. This was, by no stretch of the imagination, an easy win for the Tigers. 

It was all hands on deck to pull out this win. 

Hodges led the team with 19 points with the second-highest scorer being Byron Howard tallying 15. Jordan Finch scored double digit points, too, with 11. Spear contributed with nine points and Bobby Smith had eight. 

It’s safe to say it was a team win for Alcovy on Friday. 

But, that’s just what head coach Mack Hardwick wants to see out of his team.

“That’s the equation that Alcovy needs,” Hardwick said. “Their biggest strength is playing together because collectively, they’re not good, they’re great.” 

Friday’s win was the first for the Tigers in Region 3-AAAAAA. They improve to 4-11 overall and have a 1-3 region record. 


Many factors play into the final score of any contest. In Friday’s game, the Lady Tigers Achilles heel was at the free throw line. 

In a game it lost by 13 points, Alcovy missed 20 free throw attempts that was ultimately the difference Friday night. As a team, the Lady Tigers went 11-for-31 (35.4%) at the charity stripe.  

Head coach Justin Hunter thoroughly stressed how important it is for his team to improve in that area. 

“Just hitting half of those free throws could’ve made a difference in this type of game,” Hunter said. “As well as execution all the way around the game.” 

Even so, the Lady Tigers seemed to have a bolt of energy heading into the fourth quarter despite trailing 46-31. 

As a result of that energy, Alcovy forced a few stops on defense to give its offense a chance to eat into the deficit. 

Though they drew the score 48-38 with 2:56 remaining in the final frame of action, the Lady Tigers just couldn’t put together anything consistent on offense. 

That didn’t stop them from battling. 

Josalyn Branch scored the most points for Alcovy with 12 points while Luv Llewellyn scored 10. The next highest scorer was Maria Harris who recorded seven points. 

As a result of Friday’s loss, the Lady Tigers dropped to 5-10 overall with a 1-3 region record. Their next opponent will be Lakeside High School on Friday, Jan. 21 at home.