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Tigers struggle at Walnut Grove
Alcovy's Cameron Banks breaks free from the Walnut Grove defense for a jumper in the Tigers' 57-50 loss to the Warriors Monday morning on the road. - photo by Matt Smith

The Alcovy Tigers boys' varsity basketball team fell on the road Monday in its opening game of the 2013 Walnut Grove High School Thanksgiving Shootout, dropping a 57-50 decision to host Walnut Grove.

Cameron Banks led the Tigers with 13 points in his season debut, while Jovan Ross joined Banks in double figures with 10 points.

Despite scoring from eight Tigers in the first half, the Warriors' hot 3-point shooting overcame the Tigers' steady 2-point-goal offense, outscoring Alcovy 15-3 behind the arc.

Walnut Grove's Adrian Price led the Warriors with a game-high 25 points, including 16 points in the first half.

"This was the first game that all of our players got together and really had a chance to play with one another," Alcovy coach Jabari Levi said. "I saw a lot of improvement from the guys we started the season with, and a lot of good things out of our players who have joined us later on. There were just a few mental mistakes, but we're moving in the right direction. There was a lot of improvement from our first game to our second game."

After building a 10-8 advantage by the end of the first quarter, Alcovy allowed the Warriors three 3-pointers in the second quarter, helping Walnut Grove outscore the Tigers by nine in the period.

Alcovy led 16-14 before the Warriors' Deandre Durham connected with a 3-pointer from the right corner with 4:18 left in the half, giving Walnut Grove a 17-16 advantage they never surrendered.

The Warriors closed the final four minutes of the period on a 14-8 run, connecting twice more from behind the arc with baskets from Jacob Farmer and A.J. Jones.

The 3-point barrage gave Walnut Grove a 31-24 advantage at halftime after the Warriors had been down by as many as five points in the first quarter.

Alcovy cut the Warriors; lead down to six in the fourth quarter on a Banks 3-pointer from the left wing with 1:54 left in the contest, but the Tigers missed six layups in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter and were unable to capitalize on five fourth-quarter turnovers by the Warriors.

Alcovy returns to action Dec. 3 at Druid Hills.

Lady Tigers turn it over
The Lady Tigers varsity basketball team also fell on the road Monday morning in its first game of the 2013 Walnut Grove High School Thanksgiving Shootout, turning the ball over 36 times in a 58-35 loss to Langston Hughes.

Point guard Waneisha Morris led the Lady Tigers with eight points, including six in the second half, while Kiara Bagby and Ayanna Wimbush finished with six points apiece.

The Lady Tigers led 8-4 after a sloppy first quarter where the Lady Tigers and Lady Panthers combined for 17 turnovers and Alcovy was whistled for 13 fouls, but Hughes used a 23 point second quarter to erase the four-point deficit and turn it into a 27-15 advantage at halftime.

"The turnovers affected our offense a lot," Alcovy coach David Baker said. "They scored probably 20 points off of our turnovers in the first half. It's been a busy start to the season. We've had four games and just one practice in a week of playing together. They're a young group and just need a little more time to work together."

Up 12-10 after a Morris layup in the second quarter, the Tigers' offense went cold, allowing Hughes to put together a 13-0 run in the period. The Lady Panthers did much of their damage at the free-throw line in the quarter, going 9-of-14 at the line to take a 23-12 lead before Bagby ended the scoring drought with a 3-pointer from the right wing.

Hughes held Alcovy to four points in the third quarter, extending its lead to as many as 29 points in the fourth quarter before the Lady Tigers finished strong by scoring the last six points of the game for the 58-35 final.