COVINGTON — Rockdale came and conquered as they had no problem getting a pair of double-digit wins over Alcovy on Friday.
The Bulldogs (6-10 overall, 3-3 Region 2-AAAAAA) scored 50 points in the second half to close out the sweep with an 86-49 win over Alcovy (1-13, 1-5) while the Rockdale girls (6-5, 3-2) started the game with a 19-3 run to get the 70-56 win over the Lady Tigers (4-12, 2-3).
There was no doubt that Rockdale’s height was an advantage over the shorter Alcovy as they had eight blocked shots in the first half. It was also evident on the boards as they grabbed 45 rebounds to Alcovy’s 27. A lot of those rebounds were on the offensive side of the court giving the Bulldogs as many four tries before getting the ball in the basket.
Rockdale scored 12 points in the first quarter before turning up the head with 24 points in the second, 19 in the third and closing strong with 31 points.
While this may be a concern for a regular coach, Alcovy’s interim head coach Eric Hollier saw what he can do to build his team.
“Considering that (Friday) is my first day of taking over as head coach, the effort was there and they played very hard,” he said. “They played as a team and everything was going well until some fatigue set in late in the fourth quarter. Because of the effort, I’m very proud of them. They did a great job considering the coaching change.”
Rockdale’s Darryl Tucker, who left the game before the midway point of the third quarter, had a double-double scoring 16 points and 10 rebounds. But the real surprise came from sophomore Jalen Jordan who had a dunk as well as three 3-pointers to end the game with 15 points. Also scoring in double figures for the Bulldogs was Brian Jessie who had 13 points.
Pacing the Tigers on the scoreboard were sophomore Brandon Freeman and junior Cameron Banks with 14 and 10 points.
Waneisha Morris’ long 3-pointer gave one the feeling that the Lady Tigers were going to give the Lady Bulldogs a fight. But Rockdale responded by pressuring the inbound passes forcing turnovers to go on a 19-3 run.
“I asked Sydney Fields, who was at the top of that press, to put pressure on the ball. I asked her to come with it and put pressure on it because we haven’t been doing it earlier in the season,” Rockdale girls head coach Gladys King said. “She came out and had several steals to start the game and set the tempo.”
But after jumping out to a 23-13 lead to end the first period, Alcovy stayed just about even with the Lady Bulldogs. Rockdale out scored the Lady Bulldogs by three points in the third quarter (17-14) and one point in the fourth (22-21) while each team scored eight points in the second frame.
“We’re going through a lot of adversity. We had everything in place then I got some notices about some kids being ineligible,” Alcovy head coach David Baker said. “But (Friday), the fight was exactly like I needed. The fight was there and they believed it. We’re really just rebuilding.”
Rockdale had five players in double digits with Fields and Brianna Patton pacing the team with 15 points each followed by Shebreta Alexander (12), Jonai Jackson (11) and Tamera Sanders (10).
But it was Morris who had a night to remember as she led all scorers with 26 points with Ayanna Wimbush scoring 11 for the Lady Tigers.
“We had a heart-to-heart talk with her (Thursday) about being her senior year and being the point guard of the team and the duties of the point guard,” Baker said of Morris. “I let her know that if she gave a little more and if she did it, then everyone else would conform.”