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Rockdale squads get by Alcovy

COVINGTON - Defense was on the menu Friday night as Rockdale collected a sweep of Alcovy in a doubleheader where points came at a premium price.

The Lady Bulldogs got a much needed subregion win in the opener, topping the Lady Tigers 43-38.

Meanwhile, the Rockdale boys picked up their 10th win of the season with a 53-47 win in the nightcap.

Both games were decided in the final minutes.

The Bulldogs needed to draw two charges in the final minute to hold off an Alcovy comeback, while the Lady Bulldogs forced a turnover in the game's final minute to secure the win in their game.

The Alcovy boys (5-10 overall, 1-3 Region 8-AAAA South) led 11-10 after the first quarter, 21-19 at the half and 30-29 entering the final frame.

The fourth quarter, however, belonged to the Bulldogs (10-6, 3-1).

Behind the strong shooting of Jonathan Gissentanner, who scored 10 of his team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs took the lead and began to pull away.

Alcovy, however, refused to go away and the Tigers were within striking distance after an acrobatic layup by Worrell Clahar made it a one-point game (41-40) with 3:43 left to play.

Rockdale's J.T. Shaw drew two charges in the game's final minute, and Cordarryl Bethly sealed the win with some clutch free-throw shooting.

"J. T. Shaw took two charges at the end of the game that really helped us. That, and our free throw-shooting," Rockdale boys coach Mitchell Harris said. "In the end, the guys just executed like we've told them to do."

Bethly finished with 10 points, while Darius McKnight added nine. McKnight was held in check for most of the night by a stingy Alcovy defense. McKnight fouled out with 1:27 left in the game.

Alcovy was led by Clahar, who had probably the best first quarter of his career, scoring all 11 Alcovy points. Clahar finished the contest with a game-high 21 points. Brad Williams added 13 points, including some clutch 3-pointers down the stretch that helped bring the Tigers back.

There was much of the same defensive intensity in the girls game.

Rockdale led 13-3 after the first quarter, but the Lady Tigers outscored Rockdale 7-6 in the second frame.

The two teams traded leads in the third quarter, but Rockdale led 32-28 as the fourth quarter began.

Rockdale held on to a slim lead as the final quarter wound down.

With less than a minute left, Alcovy trailed 41-38 with the ball.

It wasn't until Rockdale's Porshia Cleveland intercepted Alcovy's inbound pass with 26 seconds left that the Lady Bulldogs (5-10, 1-3) finally sealed the win.

"We went to a zone at the end of the game to try and slow them down. They (Alcovy) have some quick little guards," Rockdale girls coach Leonard Buckner said. "We switched to a zone, forced them to shoot from the outside and tried to get the rebound - and it worked. We also started executing the offense at the end of the game."

Rockdale was led by Miasia Burks' 17-point effort, while Cleveland added 11. Alcovy was led by Tiffany Moody, who had a game-high 19 points.

Brandon Evans can be reached at brandon.evans@rockdalecitizen.com.