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Derrck Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Alexander freshman attempts a free throw in the fourth quarter of the Cougars, 52-42, win over Mays on Tuesday.

For Alexander, it was a combination of youth and experience that has been carrying the team.

The Cougars got the same mixture in Tuesday’s 52-42 win over Mays in a Region 5-AAAAAA contest.

It was the regular season final for Alexander, which now turns its attention to the upcoming region tournament next week.

Senior Kiara Watson had 15 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocked shot while freshman Chloe Pollack finished with 15 points, six assists and five rebounds.

“We are getting good play from our seniors, and the younger players have been playing well,” Alexander coach Adam Watts said.

Since returning from a knee injury, Watson has provided solid scoring and rebounding. She miss part of her sophomore and all of junior season because of the injury.

“Kiara is really coming around,” Watts said. “She is getting a solid double-double each game.”

It is the second time in 10 days that the Cougars have defeated Mays, the defending state champion. The Raiders, however, played without leading scorer Tori Hill, a junior, who sustained a knee injury earlier in the week.

Alexander jumped to a big early lead and held a 33-20 lead at the intermission.

Mays made a comeback to trail by eight points midway through the fourth.

However, the Raiders struggled with its shooting and wasn’t able to close the gap.

“They pressed us in the fourth and we made a few turnovers,” Watts said. “I called a timeout to get us refocused and I think that sort of settled us down. They are the defending state champions, and we knew they weren’t going to give us anything.”

With the win, the Cougars will likely enter the region tournament as the No. 2 seed. Alexander have a half game lead over New Manchester, which closes its season at home against South Paulding.

Alexander and Mays split during the regular season but the Cougars likely own the tiebreaker because of its swept Mays.

“We definitely feel good about our chances of a state playoff berth,” Watts said. “Right now, we are not focusing on that. We are not going to look beyond any team.”

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