COVINGTON - Alcovy had a chance to sweep the Stockbridge in Region 4-AAAA basketball action Tuesday night, but, in the end, Stockbridge pulled off a sweep in the battle of Tigers with two narrow victories.
The Alcovy girls battled hard put could not pull a win out at the end, losing their effort 53-49 in overtime. The Alcovy boys gave up a nine-point fourth quarter lead in their 47-44 loss.
The Stockbridge girls (9-10, 4-6) took control of the court and the glass early, building a 16-7 lead after the first quarter.
Stockbridge used a full-court press to slow down Alcovy (3-12, 1-9).
While the press slowed Alcovy down in the first quarter, the Lady Tigers were able to counter the press and become more aggressive rebounding, cutting the deficit to 22-19 at halftime.
"We tried to put the ball in the hands of our best ball handler and let her weave through it and get the ball to some open players," Alcovy coach Kidada Holtzclaw said. "We had 10 offensive rebounds in the first half. The problem was that we didn't convert any of them, which really hurt us. It takes some air out of our sails when you work so hard to get offensive rebounds and then you can't capitalize on them."
After closing the gap even more in the third period, Alcovy took the lead briefly with six minutes left in the game.
Alcovy lost the lead after a turnover allowed Stockbridge to score on two possessions to make it 39-37.
With 29 seconds left in the game, Lisa Kossally, who led Alcovy with 14 points, hit a free throw to tie the game at 43.
"Lisa has done a great job in practice to take more of a leadership role and step up to be the floor general we need her to be," Holtzclaw said. "I think that will help to boost her confidence more and hopefully we can continue to have more good things like that out of her."
Stockbridge had a chance to win the game with 14 seconds left, but Kyra Chandler missed two free throw attempts.
Alcovy took a 49-47 lead late in the overtime period, but turnovers allowed Stockbridge to regain a lead it would not relinquish.
Alcovy finished the game with 23 turnovers, several coming at crucial times.
"That was basically the story. We were basically a defensive stop here and a turnover away from winning," Holtzclaw said.
Kate Palo was in double-figure scoring for Alcovy with 11 points.
In the boys matchup, Alcovy's Jordan Butts put the Tigers (11-6 overall, 7-3 in 4-AAAA) in a position to win, scoring 15 of his 16 points in the third quarter. He also had two offensive rebounds and a blocked shot.
"Jordan came out of his slump. I think he's back in the mind situation where he can be aggressive and get us some points," Alcovy coach Eugene Brown said. "We've been trying to get him to be more aggressive. He did really well and carried us in that third quarter. We just didn't finish the game up."
Rather than playing the same aggressive-style basketball it played in the third quarter, Alcovy slowed its pace, passing the ball and waiting for the right shot.
Even though Alcovy had open shots several times, the Tigers either didn't shoot or the ball just missed the mark.
"We went into a stall mode when we didn't need to, didn't want to. That
wasn't the plan, that's not what they were told. That's what they did for whatever reason," Brown said. "Then we got into some situations where we had to make things happen."
Alcovy also lost several chances due to turnovers.
Stockbridge (12-7, 7-4) took advantage of Alcovy's misfortune, turning a 40-31 deficit into a 44-43 lead with less than a minute to play.
"You'd think that we'd be beyond that at this point. Obviously, we need to put some more work into it and see if we could fix it," Brown said. "Once teams find a weakness, they'll continue trying to exploit it."
Down by four points at 47-43 with two seconds left, Alcovy had a chance to tie the game.
Devon Edwards made his first three throw before intentionally missing the second attempt.
Alcovy took a 3-point shot, but the ball failed to find the bottom of the net.
Manny Fils can be reached at email@example.com.