Alcovy sweeps Eastside
Alcovy girls let play do the talking in 70-58 win over Eastside
Eastside's girls could have made the statement that they are the best team in the county Saturday. Instead, it was Alcovy emerging with that title.
In the much-anticipated rematch of the season opener in which Eastside (12-2) defeated Alcovy by two, the Lady Tigers (13-2) pulled away down the stretch for a 70-58 win.
"It feels good," Alcovy coach Kidada Holtzclaw said. "I think our kids had a load lifted off their shoulders and we can move on now and continue what we need to do in region play."
Kate Palo was one of four Alcovy players in double figures with 20 points includ- ing three 3-pointers. Ashley Williams scored 13 despite fouling out late in the fourth quarter and Megan Tucker finished with 12. Kate's sister Kaci Palo scored 10
Jjade Cook did her part for Eastside. The Lady Eagles' senior star scored a gamehigh 23. She had help from Alexia Somerset who scored 14. But Somerset fouled out too, midway through the fourth, and wasn't around to see the end.
Alcovy led by as many as 10 early in the game and seven at halftime but Eastside was able to wipe away the deficit and take the lead in the third quarter.
Tucker's layup at the end of the third gave the Lady Tigers a four-point lead heading into the pivotal fourth.
Eastside made a run and took the lead with five minutes left to play.
The Lady Tigers trailed 53-51 when Somerset picked up her fifth foul with 4:34 remaining in the game. With her out of the lineup, Alcovy outscored the Lady Eagles 19-5 over the final four minutes.
"That's part of the game. You get five foul and when you foul out, you foul out," Holtzclaw said. "We lost Ashley and we continued to play hard. I don't think one or two players make a huge difference in a game. It's going to be a team win or a team loss."
Kate Palo's bucket with two minutes remaining put Alcovy up 58-54 before sister Kaci's pull-up in transition made it 60-54 with 1:05 to go.
"Kaci shoots the ball well and if she's open, we want her to shoot it," Holtzclaw said.
The game featured the type of emotion you'd expect from rivals. Eastside picked up a technical foul for taunting in the first half and nearly picked up another in the second. Meanwhile Alcovy kept to its game plan and worked the inside out game with Williams once Somerset left the game.
"We talk about being poised and playing basketball," Holtzclaw said. "Words are words and your performance is reality. We knew we had a tough opponent today. Just like any other game, we are going to come in here and play as hard as possible and hope to come out with a victory and that's what we were able to do."
In control: Alcovy guard Megan Tucker drive down the lane during the Lady Tigers' 70-58 win over rival Eastside Saturday. The two teams split and Alcovy can take the county championship if Newton defeats Eastside next week.