GIRLS

The Covington News - - Sun­day, march. 4, 2012 -

our young ladies. No­body on our team has been in this po­si­tion be­fore. This is some­thing that we set our sights on and we set a goal for.”

Be­fore the Tigers came out of the locker room on Fri­day night Holtz­claw told her play­ers what they needed to do to win.

“Num­ber one, we needed to cut the head off the snake,” Holtz­claw said. “Ashlee Cole is a great player. We knew she was the heart of the team and the leader. The last thing we talked about was we had to cut the head off the snake with our de­fen­sive er­ror and I think we did that.”

Al­covy held Cole with­out a point in the first half, fin­ish­ing with 11.

The Tigers let their de­fen­sive pres­ence be known to all of For­est Park early, scor­ing the game’s first four points, and led the rest of the way. The Tigers got two 3-poiners by Mea­gan Tucker, in­clud­ing one to end the first quar­ter and put Al­covy up 14-6 af­ter one.

Al­covy scored the first six points of the sec­ond quar­ter forc­ing For­est Park to call a time­out down 20-6 with 4:16 left in the sec­ond quar­ter.

The Tigers al­lowed just five points in the sec­ond quar­ter be­hind a de­fense that kept For­est Park’s top shooter, Cole, with­out a bas­ket. The Tigers led 24- 11 at half­time with Mea­gan Tucker get­ting 10 firsthalf points.

Tucker fin­ished with 19 points, stretch­ing her ca­reer to­tal to 1,022 af­ter cross­ing the 1,000-point thresh­old on Tues­day. The ju­nior guard also led Al­covy with her ac­tions, pro­vid­ing lead­er­ship down the stretch, hold­ing the ball when needed and driv­ing to the hoop when needed.

“Mea­gan has been a stel­lar leader for our team,” Holtz­claw said. “She does a great job han­dling pres­sure when it comes to crunch time, she wants the ball.”

She con­trolled the ball dur­ing the fourth quar­ter when For­est Park mounted its brief come­back.

Lead­ing 42-33 with about 5 min­utes left Al­covy went to a spread out pre­vent of­fense. The Pan­thers re­sponded as part of a 13-3 run to open the third quar­ter.

The Pan­thers brought it within 10, 43-33 on Raven Wynn’s field goal. The Pan­thers then brought it un­der dou­ble dig­its for the first time since the first quar­ter on Wynn’s 3pointer to make it 44-36. Al­covy called a time­out with 2:51 re­main­ing to try and se­cure the win.

The Tigers did, in­sert­ing Ash­ley Wil­liams, who was sit­ting most of the fourth quar­ter with four fouls and scored the next two points.

Al­covy capped the vic­tory on a 5-2 run to earn a trip to the Gwin­nett Arena.

An­thony Banks/ The Cov­ing­ton News

Kate Palo looks to pass along the base­line dur­ing the first half of Fri­day's Win. Palo be­came Al­covy's first girl to score 1,000 points ear­lier this sea­son.

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