Alexander coach Jason Slate was left sort of speechless a few minutes after his team had pulled off an upset of Tri-Cities on Wednesday night.
The Cougars got their third straight win with a thrilling 65-64 come-from-behind win over Tri-Cities, which came into the season with high expect ions.
“Wow, what can I say,” Slate said. “We felt like we could win coming into the game. We are just getting better as a team.”
The Cougars didn’t have any starters returning from last season’s team, and had limited varsity experience.
However, Alexander goes into the Christmas break with some momentum. Following back-to-back losses to Langston Hughes and Douglas County, the Cougars have rolled off three wins in a row. During the win streak, Alexander has defeated Northgate, defending region champion South Paulding and Tri-Cities.
“This is a big step for us,” senior Sidni White said. “It is still a long journey but we are making steps. We didn’t have much experience coming into the season, but we are on the road to getting better.”
The Cougars are off the next five days before taking on Cedar Grove in the first round of the Lake City Classic at Allatoona High in Cobb County. Alexander is the defending tournament champions.
They come into the four-day tournament with a 5-4 record. Cedar Grove, a Class AAA team out of DeKalb County, is on a four-game winning streak heading into Friday’s match-up with Jonesboro in the second round of the Peach State Classic at Atlanta’s Maynard Jackson High.
The Saints defeated Class AAAAAAA Westlake on Wednesday, 62-49, in the tournament’s first round.
“We have played some games close but we finally beat a ranked team,” Slate said. “We go up against a good Cedar Grove team. A good bite of the teams in this upcoming tournament were in the state playoffs and advanced far.”
Alexander missed out of the state playoff last season after losing by a point to Tri-Cities in the quarterfinal round of the Region 5-AAAAAA Tournament.
“We got some revenge against them,” Cougars senior guard Chris Lunsford said. “We just have to keep getting better and play with more confidence going into this tournament.”
White made a layup with 31 seconds remaining in Wednesday’s game against Tri-Cities, which proved to be the game-winning points.
“This win will give us some high energy going into the next tournament,” Cougars center Brady Spence said. “There are some good teams in this tournament, and we needed this confidence boost.”