The boys took on North Clayton in the evening, and after a close battle, won 68-54. The AHS girls played a morning game, and lost to River Ridge 51-44.
In the boys game, neither Alexander nor North Clayton could build an advantage in the first half. The stood 14-14 after the first period and 29-29 after the second.
In the third, North Clayton managed take a one point lead, 40-39, but Alexander coach Jason Slate could tell his team was turning a corner.
“Despite being down by one point after the third, I actually thought we played better in that quarter than we did in the first half,” Slate said. “We did a better job at making them play at our speed, and we were able to wear them down in the fourth.”
Slate also admitted to making a couple of minor adjustments at the start of the fourth period, which allowed the Cougars to start pulling away pretty early. Alexander outscored North Clayton 28-15 over the final eight minutes for the 14 point victory.
“We were able to hit some shots, get on a run, and they did not handle it well,” Slate said. “We also did a better job defensively.”
Lemarcus Frazier led AHS offensively with 15 points. Karim Mawuenyega added 14 points and Kevion Dailey netted 11.
“Lemarcus played solidly and took care of the ball,” Slate said. “He was able to knock down big shots.”
“Karim did not play that well tonight,” Slate added. “He forced shots most of the game but he came up big in the fourth quarter.”
Slate also added that Dailey had a really good game, with a strong defensive performance and three shots from beyond the arch.
“He did not take bad shots,” Slate said.
The girls lost a hard fought battle to River Ridge in their 10 a.m. game. Alexander took an 11-7 lead after the first period but went down 28-25 by halftime on a last second three-point play. The Lady Cougars trailed 43-35 after the third.
“I thought this was our most complete game of the season,” said AHS girls coach Marcy Camp, despite the loss. “Our biggest issue was at the free throw line.”
Struggles did come often from the line as Alexander connected on only seven of 17 shots. The team missed seven free throws in the fourth quarter, the same number of points they lost by.
Overall though, it was a solid performance led by Molly Brown’s 12 points. Dajiea Anderson followed with 10 points and both Rachel Robinson and Deanna Dorsey had eight points each.
“Molly always stands out and plays hard,” Camp said. “Deanna is stepping up and is working well with Dajiea, who has been working on her composer and had only one foul by halftime.”
The Lady Cougars are playing the tourney without starter Brook Nail, who is away at a soccer tournament.
The Alexander girls will play today at 10 a.m. at Allatoona. The Cougar boys will move to the semi-final game of the tourney today at 8:30 p.m. They will take on either River Ridge or Alexander. Both teams played against each other last night but results were not available by deadline.