COVINGTON - The Alcovy boys basketball team showed it can win without a big game by Worrel Clahar as the Tigers avenged an earlier loss to Salem with a 45-40 win over the Seminoles on Tuesday night at Alcovy High School.
Meanwhile, the Lady Seminoles cruised in a blowout win over the Lady Tigers, prevailing 74-31.
Alcovy 45, Salem 40
The Tigers (7-12 overall, 2-5 Region 8-AAAA South) received strong inside-outside play from Cody Edwards and Ross Bagley and put just enough points on the board to edge the Seminoles (7-14, 1-6) in the second defensive battle between the two teams this season.
Edwards' presence in the paint and Bagley's precise shooting from the outside - coupled with stingy defensive efforts by the entire team - was enough for the Tigers to earn their second Region 8-AAAA South win of the season and move out of the subregion cellar.
Bagley and Edwards each added 10-point efforts in the win on a night the Seminoles' defense shut down Alcovy's scoring machine - Clahar.
Alcovy coach Eugene Brown said his team is starting to understand that it's not a one-man show.
"We've been trying to get some guys to complement him (Clahar) and help him out," Brown said. "The last game we played (against Newton), we showed signs that we're starting to find combinations that we can put out on the floor and still be productive. Hopefully, we're getting into the swing of the things at the right time of the season and get some momentum going down the stretch."
Tuesday night's game was a lot like the last time the two teams tangled, only this time, Alcovy didn't blow the lead and Salem never made a significant comeback.
"The first time we played Salem, we felt like we let that go," Brown said. "We led the whole game, but we made some bad decisions down the stretch and we ended up losing. They (Salem) played well, but we felt like we were in control. We really didn't make any adjustments this time around. We just tried to limit our turnovers and get the ball inside more and tried to use our inside presence a little bit more."
Instead, it was Salem that turned the ball over numerous times Tuesday night.
Salem coach Darren Wilkins said that was the difference in the game
"We didn't do a good job of inbounding the ball down the stretch," he said. "We had a lot of turnovers because of their pressure. We've lost a lot of games where we've given up big leads and that tells you that we're not playing smart at points in the game and our energy level isn't there at points in the game."
Alcovy had a five-point lead (17-12) after the first quarter and won by five points. However, Salem kept it within one to three points for the meat of the game.
The Seminoles were led by Zach Roddenberry, who scored a game-high 17 points. Tyone Elliott added 12.
Salem 74, Alcovy 31
The girls game looked almost like a practice game for the Lady Seminoles (15-6, 6-1).
Alcovy (1-18, 1-6) scored the first bucket of the contest before Salem churned out 24 unanswered points.
The Lady Seminoles led 22-2 after the first quarter, 34-12 at the break and 61-19 as the final frame began.
It should also be noted that Salem's Courtney Hurt equaled Alcovy's entire offense performance with 31 points.
Despite the lopsided offense efforts, Salem coach Bill Roberts noted it was the defense that deserved kudos.
"We set goals before the game to do a better job defensively than we did last time," Roberts said. "Last time, we gave up 53 points against them. We scored 82, but we gave up 53. This time, we cut their scoring by 25 points."
Roberts was also proud how his team didn't let up after jumping out to such a sizable lead.
"It's difficult to keep a team up and motivated when you're ahead by that much, but we tried a couple of different things," he said. "When they (Alcovy) were running that 2-3 (defense), we had to find a shooter, and we did. We knocked down several big shots from the outside in the third and fourth quarters."
Rebecca Mitchell knocked down three treys in the third quarter alone. She finished with 13 on the night. Ariel Wynter also had 13 points on the night. Hurt led the charge with 31. Kentrell White chipped in eight.
Alcovy was led by the Moody sisters, who scored 23 of their team's 31 points. Tiffany Moody scored 18, while Meagan Moody added five.
Brandon Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.