McDONOUGH - The Alcovy girls were one shot away from winning their first game of the season Thursday, but it wasn't meant to be as they lost 51-49 to Woodland-Henry in the second round of the Henry County Classic.
With four seconds left to play, sophomore Alex Tucker dribbled the ball through the Lady Wolfpack defense trying to find a lane as time clicked away. Just past half court with time winding down Tucker had no choice but to let go of the ball.
"There was nothing more exciting than it bouncing off the rim. It took three bounces and I thought for sure it was going in at one point. On that third bounce, it just went to the right," Alcovy girls coach Suzanne Smith said. "That was so close. I told them at the timeout to get it to Alex. I wanted her to shoot the shot."
The Lady Tigers (0-9) actually did something they had never done before - lead after the first quarter.
Alcovy led 6-5 on a Lisa Kossally layup off a steal. The Lady Tigers built their lead to 12-5 before Woodland cut it down to 12-9 to end the first period.
In the first quarter, the Lady Tigers' aggressive defense caused several turnovers. However, that trend did not continue in the second quarter and it cost Alcovy the lead.
The Lady Tigers did not add to their tally until 4:23 left in the opening half when Meagan Moody, who led all scores with 19 points, scored her team's first points of the second quarter.
Once the Lady Tigers made the first basket, the rest came easy. The Lady Bulldogs led by as many as seven in the second period before ending the half up by three, 26-23.
Both teams traded baskets to start the third frame before Alcovy made it 32-31. But the Lady Wolpack closed the period strong to take a 41-32 lead heading into the fourth period.
Woodland extended its lead early in the final quarter to 45-34 before the Lady Tigers rediscovered what made them successful in the first period.
"We put pressure on them and we started coming back," Smith said. "We started playing to their weaknesses, then rather than having the turnovers we made them make the turnovers."
Alcovy got the score back to within one point, 45-44, before Woodlandtook a 49-44 lead. The Lady Tigers got to within two points but they could not close the margin.
Tucker scored 13 points while Kossally finished with 11.
"They played very hard, I'm very proud of their effort. They ran the plays and they played good defense," Smith said. "It was a great, great effort by all the girls."
The Lady Tigers play for seventh place at 10 a.m. today against Chapel Hill.
Manny Fils can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.