Lady Tigers advance to Elite Eight

WARNER ROBINS -- A double-double by Ashley Williams and strong defense helped Alcovy hold off the Lady Demons to advance to the Class AAAA Elite Eight for the first time in school history with a 71-62 win.

"We feel that we have the team that can get us to the Final Four this year. We don't want to stop at the Elite Eight," Alcovy head coach Kidada Holtzclaw said. "We're excited that we made it; now we're going to focus on our next opponent."

Alcovy will play the winner of the Bainbridge/Forest Park game on Saturday at Fort Valley State University.

Warner Robins (24-5) scored first to take a 3-0 lead before the Lady Tigers (26-4) responded with a 17-0 run. Alcovy kept its edge, taking a 21-7 lead. It maintained its advantage throughout the second frame, taking a 43-29 halftime lead.

A key was Meagan Tucker, who scored 19 of her 27 points in the first half.

"Meagan has been our leader all season long. She's our ball handler; she makes us go. It's no surprise that she was the one that stepped up," Holtzclaw said.

But the Lady Demons quickly let Alcovy know that the game was played on their home floor, taking a 52-50 lead into the final quarter.

The Lady Demons were able to take the lead because of their aggressive rebounding and their ability to make the 3-point shot. Warner Robins was 4-for-7 from beyond the arc, with Damond Hudson making three of them. The Lady Demons' Kenyona Armstrong led all scorers with 28 points.

"We started out this game great. We were a house afire; we were efficient. Warner Robins is a great team and we knew they were going to make a run. We talked about it at halftime. We talked about making sure we maintain the focus we started the game with in the first four minutes," Holtzclaw said. "We had some defensive lapses, but we were able to fight back and come out on top. We're excited about the basketball we're playing right now."

Playing big on the boards and helping the Lady Tigers was Williams, who scored 20 points with 24 rebounds.

Even though Kate Palo only had one point, her defensive play made her an invaluable asset to the team.

"Kate's defense was stealth. Kate did exactly what she needed to do to help us win this ballgame," Holtzclaw said. "Whether she's scoring or locking people up defensively, she's always playing team basketball."