CONYERS - Alcovy and Rockdale's basketball teams experienced a reversal of fortune Tuesday night at Rockdale County High School.
On Jan. 18, Rockdale's squads marched into Alcovy and collected a sweep in Covington.
This time, however, it was Alcovy that broke out the broom at Rockdale.
The Lady Tigers picked up a 41-39 win in the opener, while the Alcovy boys completed the sweep with a 61-51 win in the nightcap.
Alcovy 41, Rockdale 39
The girls game was a back-and-forth battle. Alcovy led 13-8 after the first quarter, but Rockdale went up 22-20 at the half after outscoring the Lady Tigers 14-7 in the second frame.
The Lady Tigers came out poised in the second half and jumped back on top of the Lady Bulldogs, outscoring Rockdale 11-6 in the third quarter.
The Lady Tigers opened the final frame with a 6-0 run and led 37-30 with 5:51 left to play. However, Rockdale answered with a 7-0 run to tie the contest at 37.
Alcovy was clutch down the stretch from the free-throw line, while the Lady Bulldogs had trouble hitting shots from point-blank range. In fact, it was Tiffany Moody's free throws with 4.1 seconds left that sealed the deal and gave Alcovy a two-point win.
By the numbers, the Lady Tigers were near-perfect from the line, hitting 21 of 25 from the charity stripe.
Alcovy girls coach Suzanne Smith said she couldn't be more proud of her girls for their effort.
"That's the best we've shot from the free throw line all season," Smith said. "We've been working on free throws at practice because we've played a few games where that's what it came down to."
This was one of those games.
Moody hit 7 of 7 free throws on her way to a 15-point performance. Lisa Kosally was just as solid. The freshman point guard hit 9 of 12 and didn't miss a free throw in the second half when the game was on the line. Kosally finished with 15 points as well.
Rockdale was led by Giovanni Sims with 15 points and Porshia Cleveland with 11.
Alcovy 61, Rockdale 51
A 23-point second quarter spelled doom for the Bulldogs as the Tigers' shooting was just too hot for Rockdale.
After a sloppy first quarter where both teams combined for 10 turnovers, Alcovy found its stroke in the second frame.
Ignited by four 3-pointers and a dunk by Jordan Butts, the Tigers jumped out to a 20-point lead.
Worrel Clahar was also stellar in the frame with nine points, including a traditional three-point play that put the Tigers up 31-13 with 2:04 left.
After a steal-and-slam by Butts, Rockdale closed out the quarter with a modest 6-0 run to make it 33-19 at the break.
With a sizable lead, Alcovy slowed the pace of the game down in the second half, but the Tigers still outscored Rockdale 15-13 in the third quarter.
Rockdale made a valiant run late in the game and actually cut the deficit to single digits late in the game. Still, it was too little, too late.
Alcovy boys coach Eugene Brown said the difference in this game was how his team maintained its intensity.
"We had the intensity from the start. I don't think we had a bad quarter tonight," he said. "Sometimes, we'll have a bad quarter along the way, but tonight, the guys had that intensity all night. We had some guys make a lot of shots tonight, which is something we haven't done much this year."
Clahar led the way with 20 points, while Butts added 17. Butts scored 14 in the tell-tale second quarter.
Rockdale was led by Jonathan Gissentanner with 19 and Darius McKnight with 12. McKnight was scoreless in the second quarter and scored just two points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
The good news for the Bulldogs is that Cedar Shoals also lost Tuesday night, meaning the Bulldogs need only a victory Friday against Eastside to clinch the No. 2 seed in the subregion.
Brandon Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org