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Alcovy boys top Newton in triple overtime 79-77

COVINGTON -- Alcovy's Michael Tucker had 12 points in the triple overtime win over Newton with his contributions showing themselves everywhere else on the court as the Tigers beat Newton 79-77.

In the girls game, the Lady Tigers led from the first basket and never looked back in their 55-40 win.

BOYS

Alcovy 79, Newton 77 (3-OT)

Tucker played a big part in keeping the Tigers (3-1) from losing as he had two key shots and several steals and rebounds in the triple overtime.

The first of his big shots came with one second left in the first overtime period sinking two free throws to tie the game at 64. Tucker put any pressure he may have felt aside in the second overtime period sinking the tying basket with 38 seconds left on the clock to make it 71 all.

In triple overtime, Tucker made a pair of free throws and made a field goal to give the team a boost they needed offensively. But his play on defensive really helped put the Tigers over the top.

Tucker had a rebound giving the Tigers a second chance to make a basket. His other contribution was stealing a pass on a possible fast break after Marcus Beasley made what turned out to be the game-winning shot with 28 seconds.

Newton had a couple of opportunities to send the game to a fourth overtime or win it outright but it seemed like the pressure was too much for several players.

One Newton (1-1) player that was impervious to the pressure was Stephen Croone. Croone, who paced the Rams with 33 points, made a 3-pointer at the buzzer in regulation to send the game into overtime.

In the first overtime, Croone made a three-point play to give Newton a 66-64 lead with nine ticks left on the clock. He also had a 3-pointer in the second overtime give the Rams a 70-69 lead and another trey late in the third overtime period to tie the game at 77.

While the game came down to the last shot in regulation, it really didn't have to be that way. Newton, who is normally around 70 to 75 percent on free-throws, was 1-for-8 in the first half finishing the game at 57 percent from the line making 24 of 42.

Alcovy's Devon Edwards paced all scorers with 34 points. Also hitting double-digit scoring for Newton were Justin Thompson (11) and Shane Henry (11).

Girls

Alcovy 55, Newton 40

The Lady Tigers (3-0) jump on Newton (1-1) early taking a 6-0 lead and never turned around.

Making it happen for the Lady Tigers was the play of their scoring leader Gabby Sherwood who had a game-high 13 points.

"Gabby is a silent killer for us. I've said that for the past two years. She does a lot of things that doesn't show up on the stat book," Alcovy head coach Kidada Holtzclaw said.

While Sherwood and Ashley Williams, who had 11 points and 12 rebounds, made their presence felt it was what was done on defense that made a difference. A lot of Newton's offense is set up by Emili Russ. However, the Lady Tigers were able to neutralize Russ allowing to only score three points while putting her in foul trouble early.

"We talked about her (Russ) a lot in our scouting meeting with her being a key to their team," Holtzclaw said. "We talked about containing her offensively and making sure she wasn't a factor in the game."

Even though Alcovy won by 15 points, it wasn't that easy as the Newton team never gave up. Every time Alcovy would get a double-digit lead, the Lady Rams would fight back and make their shots to get to within four to six points again. However, the Lady Rams never able to close the gap to less than two possessions never putting the pressure back on Alcovy.

"A key for us was trying to contain their transition offense," Holtzclaw said. "They're a really good team and I felt like we were finally battle tested."