Kiara Watson is still working herself back into basketball shape after missing all of last season with a knee injury.
Tuesday’s game-winning drive and layup should go a long way in helping her confidence.
After Alexander got a steal on its defensive end with 11 seconds remaining, Watson got the inbound pass and maneuvered into the lane for a short jumper to give the Cougars a 45-43 win over Langston Hughes.
Watson would finish with 10 points and 11 rebounds in the Region 5-AAAAAA contest.
“She has bee some good quality minutes,” Alexander coach Adam Watts said. “Athletic wise we know she can make the shots. To hit a game-winning shot like that is huge.”
Alliee Patillo led the Cougars with 17 points but was the Cougars’ pressure defense that helped them survive the scare from Langston Hughes.
Alexander’s pressure forced five of six inbound turnovers in the last two minutes of the contest.
“We ran some man pressure defense on the out-of-bounds plays,” Watson said. “We put MaryKate (Eubanks) back as sort of the free safety. She was able to get her hands on some passes.It was just a matter of our team knowing what to do.”
With the win, Alexander improves to 9-8 overall and 6-3 in the region as the Panthers dropped to 3-9 and 1-7.
Alexander was coming off a tough loss at Douglas County on Saturday in a game led up until late in the fourth quarter.
“We just couldn’t hold the lead,” Watts said. “We executed well but didn’t keep the lead.”
Junior Bria Adger scored 17 points to lead Langston Hughes.
Alexander held a 42-38 lead with 1:10 remaining on a pair of Pattillo free throws. But the Panthers would not go away.
A 3-ponter by Damesha Cain tied the score at 43-43 with 29 seconds remaining.
However, Langston Hughes failed to get the ball inbounds, which gave the Cougars a shot a the win.