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Alcovy boys, Eastside girls prevail

COVINGTON - The Alcovy boys won their second straight subregion game Friday night over county rival Eastside 49-39, while the Lady Eagles earned the season split against the Lady Tigers with a hardfought 48-41 victory.

"We needed it (the win)," said Eastside girls coach Jason Grooms. "They came and beat us at our place, and up until now, they were the better team because they did it on the court. But I'm proud of them for stepping up, coming out here and doing what they did."

Eastside (4-15 overall, 1-7 8-AAAA South) set the tone early, racing to a 10-2 lead in the opening minutes of the first quarter and led 15-7 heading into the second.

Despite missing 10 of 12 free throws in the first half, Eastside kept an eight-point lead at halftime, due in large part to 14 first-half Alcovy turnovers.

Neither team got into any sort of rhythm in the third quarter as Eastside stretched its lead to double figures at 37-26 at the end of the period.

Alcovy (1-19, 1-7) put on a late charge as Tiffany Moody had a big fourth quarter for the Lady Tigers, scoring eight of her game-high 17 points. But Eastside finally hit some free throws down the stretch and sealed the win to earn its first subregion win.

"This group of girls plays all the way through the game; they don't quit," said Alcovy coach Suzanne Smith. "This game, even though they know how it feels to win, we beat them (Eastside) last time, now they know how it feels to come back and get close, but not get it."

The boys game had the edge you would expect from a budding rivalry as both teams came out energized, but 13 combined turnovers made it hard for either team to get into any sort of offensive continuity.

The excitement and energy didn't help the scoring as the game was tied 8-8 at the end of the first quarter.

The Tigers (8-12, 3-5) found their rhythm in the second quarter, opening up the period with a quick 8-2 burst.

Alcovy outscored the Eagles 20-6 in the quarter and led 28-14 at the break.

Things didn't get much better in the third quarter for Eastside. Eagle forward Artis Clanton carried the scoring load for his team in the third period, accounting for all six Eastside points.

Meanwhile, Alcovy's defensive pressure and solid rebounding gave them a 37-20 advantage heading into the final period.

Eastside was never able to mount a serious charge in the final period as Alcovy's pressure defense caused too many key turnovers. The Tigers made enough shots and free throws down the stretch to give them the hard-earned win and momentum as the teams head toward the playoffs.

"We had a lot of turnovers," said Eastside boys coach Michael Gerald. "Most games come down to who plays the hardest, and you have to have that fight. We tried to stay with what we needed to do defensively and our problem wasn't defense. We just didn't score the ball with as much consistency as I would have liked to see and that was the difference."

Worrel Clahar led Alcovy with 15 points, while Julian and Jordan Butts each chipped in with six.

Clanton paced Eastside with 13 points, while Andrico Bailey added six.