COVINGTON -- The bench players of both Alcovy squads got a lot of playing time as both teams forced the mercy-rule to go into affect in their Region 3A-AAAA game on Friday.
The Lady Tigers (16-1, 6-0) had little trouble against Union Grove (6-9, 0-6) from the opening tip-off in their 62-27 win.
Alcovy's boys (14-3, 6-0) started slow against the Wolverines (1-13, 0-6) but finished strong to double their score in the 86-42 contest.
Alcovy's basketball team had their outside shooting working as they had 14 3-point shots. Michael Tucker and Derrius Mathis led the Tigers with three treys each with Deondre Butler and Devin Gerald hitting two each. Leading all scorers was Alcovy's Justin Wallace with 17 points with Mathis (13), Butler (12) and Tucker (10) hitting double digits.
"In the last two weeks we've been putting up a lot of 3s," said Alcovy head boys coach Eugene Brown. "They started off slow because we didn't really focus on that in the beginning."
Union Grove was able to gain a 5-4 lead on a JP Plummer 3-pointer. But it didn't last long as the Tigers jumped out to a 17-8 lead with 2:20 left on the clock. Even though Alcovy led by 24 points at the half, 45-21, it was not good enough for Brown.
"We were a little lethargic out there after the first quarter. I talked to them in the locker room and told them they have to finish it off and get as much rest as we can. They came out in the third quarter and did a great job," said Brown. "They've been working hard spending a lot of time on defense. It's good to watch them trust each other and rotate where they're suppose to be and put the kind of pressure we want to put on."
Alcovy came out with more energy on offense while turning on the pressure on defense allowing the Tigers to go on a 17-0 run before Ty Shorts broke it up with 3:11 left in the third frame.
The Wolverines scored most of their points in the fourth quarter scoring 17 points with Alcovy's bench players on the floor for most of the period.
"We had some bad defensive rotations where they got some layups but if they're going to get some playing time they're going to earn it," said Brown. "When they get it they have to preform."
Setting the pace for the Wolverines were Caleb Ham with 11 points followed by Terence Hickey (9) and Blake Dixon (7).
Alcovy put pressure on the Lady Wolverines the entire game as they shot 30 shots from the free throw line making 24 of them. Half of Alcovy's 32 first-half points came from the line as they were 16-of 20. Alcovy jumped out to a 32-11 halftime lead.
"That was huge for us. In the first half we were like 8-for-32 from the field," said Alcovy girls head coach Kidada Holtzclaw. "However, we were able to score and we were very aggressive defensively. We got into the passing lanes and let our defense."
Alcovy's leading scorer, Ashley Williams who had 22 points, had as many points as Union Grove's team in the first half.
"Ashley played like Ashley. She was finishing in the paint, I thought early in the first quarter they gave her a little trouble. They were triple teaming her and anytime she caught the ball there were three or four people around her. She did a pretty good job of letting the game come to her and getting offensive rebounds. That's the big thing about Ashley, no matter how people play her she's going to crash the boards hard and give herself an opportunity to get in there offensively. That's what she was able to do," said Holtzclaw.
With the game well in hand, Holtzclaw was able to give her bench players some time on the court. The starters came out of the game the last 2:30 of the first half then again at the midway point of the third quarter. After the Lady Tiger extended their lead to 55-17, the bench players stayed on the floor until the end.
Scoring nine points in the game were Kate and Kaci Palo.
"I was pleased. A lot of times we'll have a roller coaster moment when we sub in," said Holtzclaw. "But we were able to relate to our people coming off the bench we have to have positive contributions each time they step put on the floor."
Demetrion King led the Lady Wolverines with six points with Koi Kizzie (4) and Treva Hickey (4) trailing.