COVINGTON, Ga. — Throughout Tuesday’s in-county rivalry matchup between Alcovy and Eastside, there were stretches where the Tigers’ offense seemed primed to mount a comeback. But each time, the Eagles’ defense stifled any chance Alcovy had.
Therefore, Eastside walked away with a 68-53 win.
Eagles head coach Dorrian Randolph credited a halftime adjustment as the proponent of keeping Alcovy’s offense at bay in critical moments.
“We realized at halftime that when we had our second group in there, that we had to pull back on defense,” Randolph said. “The ego in me wants to press all game, but the realist in me knows that’s not possible. So, we settled into our half court set and got some stops.”
In the latter part of the game, the Tigers trailed by nearly 20 points, but that didn’t cause them to stop battling.
With the final minutes ticking off the game clock, Alcovy had a few fast break runs that cut the deficit down to just eight points. Eastside responded, though, after the Tigers missed a layup that would make the Eagles’ lead go to six points.
After that, the Eagles put together a strong stretch to rebuild the lead off a suffocating full-court defense as well as capitalizing on opportunities down low to score more points.
Alcovy head coach Mack Hardwick expressed his desire to see his team play with more purpose, especially given the fact that Tuesday was an in-county matchup.
“They are supposed to play with more passion with this being a county rival,” Hardwick said. “There’s more for them to understand that they need to play with intensity in any game, but even more so a rivalry game. For whatever reason, today they only played with intensity in spurts.”
The Tigers had three players score double digit points to assist with the valiant effort.
Nick Durham had a team-high 13 points while Kendarrius Spear and Andre Jernigan each had 10 points. Jernigan’s final tally featured two three-pointers as well.
Following back-to-back close losses to Locust Grove and Clarke Central, the Tigers fell to 0-3 with Tuesday’s final result. Alcovy will look to rebound next Tuesday at home when Region 3-AAAAAA opponent Jonesboro comes to town.
Hardwick pointed to his team’s youth as something to build off of heading into their region opener.
“We have two freshmen out there who are learning the game and they’re doing an amazing job,” Hardwick said. “We have kids who need to work on both sides of the ball. We have kids who are really good defensively, but hurt offensively. And vice versa. We just have to see some consistency on a nightly basis.”
Meanwhile, the Eagles received contributions from a plethora of individuals.
LJ Rivers led all scorers with 14 points followed by Bo Reid’s 13 points. Saabir Benton had eight while Trebor Evans and Derrick Tuggle tallied seven points apiece.
Eastside bounced back from Nov. 19’s five-point loss against Tucker to get back above .500. Next up for the Eagles is a home matchup with Ola on Saturday, Nov. 26.
Randolph learned a lot about his team from Tuesday’s win.
“We got a better look at who can do what,” Randolph said. “That’s always the hardest part is finding the right collection of players that help one another out. We were able to see how each player helps in different roles. We’re happy with the win, but we’re not satisfied.”