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Derrick Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Alexander senior Kiara Watson had 19 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocked shots in the Cougars 54-51 win over South Paulding on Tuesday.

Chloe Pollack took a calculated risk on the defensive end of the court and it paid off big for Alexander on Tuesday night.

The freshman point guard made a steal and a layup that proved to be the winning points in the Cougars 54-51 win over South Paulding in a key Region 5-AAAAAA contest.

“She wasn’t scared of the moment,” Alexander coach Adam Watts said. “This was a real big win for us.”

With the win, the Cougars improved to 11-9 overall and 8-4 in the region as South Paulding dropped to 15-4 and 7-2.

Pollack made the steal and converted the layup after making a crucial turnover on the offensive end on Alexander’s previous possession. She converted a free throw to basically put the game out of reach with two seconds remaining.

“It was a risk but I had to go for it,” Pollack said. “I had about two or three fouls but I saw the opportunity and tried to make the play.”

And she did.

As a result, the Cougars were able to atone from a loss on Monday at New Manchester.

“This win just puts us a step closer to our goal of finishing in the top half of the region,” Watts said. “We only shot 17 percent (against New Manchester). Our two top scorers tonight didn’t score last night. You never know what you are getting when you come out of snow days. We were just flat and didn’t shoot the ball well.”

Pollack finished with nine points, four assists and six rebounds. The Cougars were led by Kiara Watson, who had 19 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocked shots. MaryKate Eubanks had 12 points and Alliee Patillo finished with 11 points.

Polloack, who starred on Chapel Hill Middle School’s championship team last season, has taken over at the lead guard with the departure of Kim Lawson.

“I’ve gotten really comfortable in the position now,” Pollack said. “I feel like my teammates are behind me.”

Because of the snow that cancelled several days last week, teams in the region have been scrambling to make up games before next month’s region tournament.

Alexander plays at Tri-Cities on Friday and then host New Manchester on Saturday.

The Cougars lost to New Manchester 61-35 on Monday. In an earlier meeting, Alexander lost in two overtimes to South Paulding.

This was South Paulding first game in eight days because of inclement weather. The Spartans will have to play eight games in the next 11 days before the end of the regular season.

“We are pretty much caught up on our games,” Watts said. “There are lot of teams that have to do make up games.”

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