0

Tough time for local teams in holiday tournaments

COVINGTON -- Several teams had were close to winning but could not pull it off during the various Thursday tournaments.

Girls

Eastside

The Lady Eagles did not have the start in the Antebellum Holiday Tournament in Milledgeville they wanted losing the first game to Cedar Shoals 50-34 on Thursday.

The problem was their inconsistent play and their inability to secure rebounds according to head coach Matthew Jackson.

"The second quarter wasn't too good, that killed us. The first quarter was good, the third quarter was good but that second and fourth quarter is what killed us," he said. "We battled back and forth but going into the fourth quarter they pulled away.

"They out-rebounded us, we got killed on the boards. They had a couple of big girls and our big girls just didn't show up. We were about 52 percent from the free-throw line which is always a problem for us."

Jazzmine Cook led the Eastside girls with 14 points.

Heritage

A short-handed Heritage girls team fell short of winning the first game of the Walnut Grove Tournament coming up short 46-33 to George Walton on Thursday.

"We only had seven people. We had two people injured and one person was under suspension. We just came back after the break and we had seven people so we were winded easily," Lady Patriots coach Lauren Chambers said. "We didn't have the manpower on the bench so it hurt us but it doesn't concern me going down the road."

Besides not having enough people, Heritage also had problem breaking the press by the Lady Bulldogs and finishing shots.

Even though the Lady Patriots did not have anyone in double-digit scoring three players made up 72 percent of the scoring.

"Aujana Dawkins who was our leading scorer with nine," Chambers said, "Che' Hardaway came back in her first game after a knee injury had eight points and Sierra Crosson, my big girl in the paint, had seven."

The Lady Patriots will be back on the court at Walnut Grove today at 12:30 p.m. against either the host team or Berkmar.

Alcovy

A loss is always tough. But when you hold the No. 5 team in the country to 16 points below their average that's a noteworthy accomplishment. The Lady Tigers loss to Riverdale (Tenn.) 66-52 in the first round of the Red Division of the Peach State Holiday Tournament.

"I could hear them talk about the players that we have. Our motto is respect all, fear none. We came into the game knowing who they are and what they can do but also that we have weapons that can counter that. I think it was a situation where we ran out of steam," Alcovy head coach Kidada Holtzclaw said. "We fought and I'm very pleased with that. We didn't stop playing, we continued to get after it offensively and get after their people defensively."

Even with a slow beginning to start the game, the Lady Tigers were only down by five points to end the first half. However, after starting the second had with a slow start as well, it became harder for Alcovy to overcome Riverdale at the end.

While Meagan Tucker and Ashley Williams led the scoring with 11 and 18 points, Holtzclaw felt there were a lot more factors to the outcome of the game.

"Lydia Gibbs stepped up big time for us defensively. She had three or four blocked shots and did a great job getting on the boards. Lakeiyah Sorrells stepped up and hit some open shots, got some tips and deflections and had the opportunity to get some seals," Holtzclaw said. "With Gibbs, Tucker, Sorrells and Williams, I felt like they did all they were capable of doing."

The Rockdale girls also fell short of their mark losing in overtime to Carrollton 59-58 in the Silver Division of the Peach State Holiday Tournament.

Boys

Newton

Several missed layups and a controversial traveling call with .2 seconds left in the game were the difference between a win and a loss by Newton to the No. 1 ranked AAAA Alabama team in the Yuletide Christmas Classic in Hanceville, Ala. on Thursday.

The traveling call on the shot which would have tied the game, resulted in a 34-32 loss to Dallas County.

"We had every opportunity to win the game, I thought we were the better team. We just couldn't stick it in the basket the second half and they were easy baskets," Newton head coach Rick Rasmussen said. "We missed like six layups and we didn't make some free throws in the fourth quarter. It was a one possession game."

One part of Newton's game which did not falter was their defense. William Lee, who has offers from Alabama, Auburn and Georgia was held to 11 points while their leading scorer, Markel Harris who has scored 25 and 21 points in his last two games, was held to six points.

"We had a great defensive plan. We just couldn't stick it in the basket," Rasmussen said. "I thought when they picked up their pressure we became a bit tentative. When we beat them on the dribble we missed crucial layups. They rolled off the rim, it was like there was a lid on it. We figured we had six layups do that."

Newton was led on the scoreboard by Jalen Glover with 13 points followed by Rodarius Mitchell with 10. Newton's leading scorer, Rahsard Cabane, who was assigned to guarding Lee, was held to two points.