CONYERS - One game was a barn-burner, and the other was a defensive dogfight.
The final results, however, were the same as Salem's basketball squads collected a sweep of Alcovy on Friday at Salem High School.
Salem boys 41, Alcovy boys 36
Alex Miller only scored four points in his team's 41-36 win over Alcovy, but the senior made them count.
Miller hit a jumper with 59 seconds left on the clock to put his team up 38-36 and hit two free throws in the game's final 30 seconds to help seal the game as the Seminoles rallied for the win.
Salem (6-8 overall, 1-1 Region 8-AAAA South) led 9-8 after the first quarter, but Alcovy outscored Salem 14-6 in the second quarter to go up 22-15 at the break.
It wasn't until about the midway point of the third quarter that the Seminoles started to creep back into the game.
In the final seconds of the third frame, Zach Roddenberry beat the buzzer to make it 31-28, cutting Alcovy's lead to three.
The Seminoles started the final quarter with an 8-2 run to go up 36-33.
But Alcovy refused to go away. Jordan Butts tied the contest at 36-36 with 2:39 left to play after hitting one of two free throws.
It wasn't until Miller hit a shot from the perimeter that Salem looked as if it was going to complete the comeback.
"We've been trying to play a full game, and truthfully, tonight we didn't either because we had a bad second quarter. Still, I'm proud that the guys dug down and the bench made great contributions tonight," Salem boys coach Darren Wilkins said. "A lot of guys came in and did some good things for us, and that's what being a team is all about."
Roddenberry led Salem's offensive charge with 14 points. Jo Jo Smith and Darius Ferguson each added six points.
Alcovy (4-8, 0-2) was led by Cody Edwards' 12-point effort. Worrell Clahar added 11 points and Butts chipped in seven in a losing effort.
"We didn't execute when it counted," Alcovy boys coach Eugene Brown said. "The bottom line was that we played undisciplined basketball down the stretch."
Salem girls 83, Alcovy girls 56
The Alcovy girls (0-13, 0-2) had their highest offensive output of the season, scoring 56 points against Salem.
Unfortunately for the Lady Tigers, Salem scored 83 points.
The win was Salem's third in a row as the Lady Seminoles' offense continues to fire on all cylinders.
The Lady Seminoles (9-5, 2-0) have scored a total of 165 points in the first two subregion games.
But it was his team's intensity that impressed Salem coach Bill Roberts.
"I like the way that we're coming out and playing defensively. We're very intense and we're jumping on people right from the beginning and not letting up," he said. "We'll have periods of the game where we lose focus a little bit, but other than that, we've been able to score without a problem."
Salem was led by Courtney Hurt, who scored a game-high 31 points. Jasmine Patrick added 21 points, while Rebecca Mitchell scored 20 points. Mitchell added seven assists and six steals.
Alcovy girls coach Suzanne Smith said she was proud of the way her team played against a solid team.
"We came out knowing Salem was a good team and that we were going to have to play hard," she said. "I was really proud of the way the girls played. This was a season high for us in scoring. I also thought the girls played better defense tonight."
The Alcovy girls were led by Tiffany Moody's 25 points. Alex Tucker added 14 and Lisa Kossally chipped in 10.
Brandon Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.