Rockdale, Alcovy girls win first round games

ATLANTA -- Seneca High School in South Carolina came into the Peach State Hoops Tournament with one of the most high-profile players in the country. But in Tuesday's opener, Rockdale had the most high-profile team.

Kree Clark had 16 points and 18 rebounds to lead four scorers in double figures, and Rockdale held Seneca leading scorer Kianna Holland in check in a 66-56 victory in a first round game in the silver bracket at Holy Innocents' High School.

Rockdale, which stayed unbeaten at 8-0, will play Region 8-AAAA foe Apalachee in today's semi finals.

The Bulldogs led just 17-15 after one, but took control with a 13-0 spurt to start the second, capped on Patton's 3-point play that made it 30-15 at the 5:01 mark. Patton added a long 3-pointer and a lay up off a pretty feed from Brianna Lawrence, while Holland, an Ohio State commitment, was bottled up on the perimeter, scoring just six first-half points as Rockdale took a 40-24 halftime lead.

"That was our defensive outlook, that we were going to shut down (Holland). We knew she was a high scorer," said Rockdale coach Sherri Williams. "Defense is our strong point right now. Each day we're getting better."

The Bulldogs kept rolling on offense as Brianna Lawrence (14 points) and Clark each had a field goal to push the lead out to 20 points in the fourth quarter. Holland had 12 points in the second half and Ciara Boggs had seven of her 15 points in the fourth quarter, but Seneca couldn't get the deficit into single digits after Rockdale's long run to start the second quarter.

"(There are) some minor things that we want to work on (but it) feels good," Williams said.

Alcovy 56, Duluth 41

In a game full of long scoring spurts, the Alcovy girl's basketball team had the last and most significant. The Class AAAA No. 5 Tigers erased an 11-point second-half deficit with a 26-4 run to pull away from Duluth in a first round game in the White bracket. Alcovy (10-0) will play in the semi finals against the winner of Greater Atlanta Christian-Riverwood at 3 p.m.

Duluth (9-2) took a 33-22 lead on a put back by Tajai Pearson with 4:10 to play in the third, but the Wildcats went cold after that and Alcovy took over. The Tigers finished the period on a 12-0 run, thanks to six of Ashley Williams' 11 points, and grabbed a 34-33 lead, their first since mid-way through the first period. Duluth tied the game briefly at 36-36 with 6:29 left, but Alcovy scored the next nine points and a pair of free throws from Gabby Sherwood capped the long run and helped the Tigers take control for good.

Alcovy held a slim lead through much of the first quarter, but Duluth post player Katie Powell, who led all scorers with 17 points, drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer just in front of the mid-court line to put the Wildcats up 13-10. In the second, Duluth led by as many as seven points at 19-12 on another 3 from Powell, but Alcovy scored eight of the final 12 points of the first half to go into the locker room down 23-20. Regine Howard's basket completed a 10-0 Duluth run to start the second half.

Meagan Tucker led Alcovy with 12 points, while Williams added 15 rebounds to pick up a double-double.