Alcovy girls win Savannah Holiday Classic; boys come in third

COVINGTON -- After getting beat in the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs last year, Alcovy's girls basketball team got a little bit of revenge, beating GACA Class AAAA No. 1 ranked Stateboro 56-50 to win the three-day Savannah Holiday Classic.

"It felt good, it did, just because of who they were. We're a little bit better team than we were last year. We don't want to play our best ball. We don't want to reach our peak until early March," Alcovy girls head coach Kidada Holtzclaw said.

"In the championship against Statesboro, we were in foul trouble, then Ayanna Wimbush stepped up. DeAndra Sears, a transfer, stepped up. Defense is something we've been harping on."

In the second game of the tournament against Beach, the Lady Tigers beat the home team by six points getting the 62-56 victory in a hostile environment. Making the win against Beach possible was the overall play of Meagan Tucker and Ashley Williams in the post.

Alcovy started the tournament with the 69-50 win over Windsor Forest, who is also from Savannah.

"Being in that area, some of the teams had home-town advantage," said Holtzclaw.

The Lady Tigers, who are ranked No. 5 in Class AAAA, are off to their best start in school history going 9-0. Last year, Alcovy lost its first game 59-57 to Eastside before going on a 10-game win streak.

"We saw a lot of competition that we haven't seen here in the first six or seven games. It was kind of like a playoff atmosphere," said Holtzclaw. "We try to go into every game like we're 0-0. We try not to think about what we've done in the game before because it's not important in the next game."

In the 3-point shoot out before the start of the tournament, Alcovy's Kaci Palo got second place after being tied for third place in the preliminary rounds.

In the boys tournament, after beating Jenkins 76-61, the Alcovy boys were in a hard-fought match up against Savannah before losing it 51-47. The game against Savannah was bitter-sweet for Alcovy head coach Eugene Brown.

"The Savannah game was special because I'm from Savannah. They made a big deal about it coaching against my coach in high school," said Brown. "We had several chances. They were really physical inside and we didn't match well. I don't know if that took us out of it down the stretch but we missed a lot of free throws; we should've won that game. It was actually a one-point game until like 12 seconds left. We missed three throws and ended up losing by four because we were in foul trouble."

In the first game against Jenkins, the Tigers opened up in good fashion with Devon Edwards scoring 23 points followed by Michael Tucker with 16 points and Justin Wallace with 12 points.

Against the GACA Class AAAAA No. 9 ranked Johnson-Savannah, Alcovy took care of business with an 82-64 win.

"All three of those teams are Class AAAAA," said Brown. "We figured that we could compete with anybody. These guys a very resilient. We were down but they came back against a skilled Jenkins group. We all felt pretty good about the outcome of the tournament."