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Five things to watch from the Newton-Alcovy girls basketball game
Serai Johnson
Alcovy Lady Tigers Serai Johnson was one of her team's leading scorers with 15 points in their win over Discovery in overtime. Photo by Garrett Pitts.

COVINGTON, Ga. — The Newton Lady Rams and Alcovy Lady Tigers are slated to face each other at Newton High School on Friday, Dec. 20, and both teams have the talent to pull off the victory.

Here are the five aspects of the game that could be the difference in this county rivalry matchup.

1. Own the boards

Both teams have quality bigs who can fight for rebounds, but there have been some struggles at this position this season. For the Lady Rams, can they use their excellent size to outrebound the Lady Tigers' aggressive bigs? That will be the question in the game. 

The matchup between Dalehia Bolden and Karmen Fennell, who has emerged for the Lady Rams as of late, should be the key matchup to watch in this area.

2. Can Serai Johnson get going?

The Alcovy Lady Tigers have a ton of talent across the board, but Serai Johnson has proven this season she can score with the best of them. For the Lady Tigers, getting her the ball in space has to be at the top of their game plan. 

Johnson has led the Lady Tigers in scoring on more than one occasion, so she is an excellent scorer. As for the Lady Rams, guards like Maka'ya Cushion and Ashleigh Norris will need to disrupt her play. 

3. Turnovers will be the difference-maker

Turnovers are always important in any basketball game, and this rivalry game is no different. The team that does the better job of taking care of the ball and not being sloppy in its play will ultimately have a huge advantage.

Both teams have struggled at times with taking care of the basketball, so they will need to play their best game in this aspect if they hope to win. The Lady Rams have shown the ability to jump passing lanes so the Tigers' primary ball handlers will need to make sure to not be lackadaisical with the ball. 

4.Tempo, tempo, tempo

Both teams use a variety of tempo, but the Lady Rams are excellent in transition at times and can keep the ball moving up and down the court at a very fast rate. If the Lady Tigers get into a sprint with the Lady Rams, then that could pose trouble for them.

The Lady Tigers need to control the pace, which is a tough task on the road against a team like the Lady Rams. If the Rams rack up points in transition, then they could take the lead early and hold it until the clock finally runs out. 

5. Can the Tigers stay fresh?

The Lady Rams have quality depth from top to bottom and have the ability to switch out players that are of the same talent level with no drop off from the first or second team. The Lady Tigers have the talent, but the depth is somewhat lacking and could cause problems.

Matching the Lady Rams depth is a problem that most teams run into when they face them, and it could be no different with the Lady Tigers. However, if they have a plan in place on how to manage the roster and get quality minutes while not getting fatigued, then that could bode well for them.