The Alexander girls basketball team traveled to North Forsyth High School on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday for a Thanksgiving hoops tournament. The Lady Cougars went 2-1 overall, playing Greater Atlanta Christian, Northview and Duluth.
“This was a good tourney to go to and it got us away from home to play teams that showed us a little difference type of competition than we are used to,” said AHS coach Adam Watts.
Alexander defeated Greater Atlanta Christian on Tuesday in overtime, 53-52. AHS was up 19-11 after the first period but down, 31-30 at the break. The game was tied at 36 after the third period and at 46 at the end of regulation.
“We jumped out on them, 15-3, halfway through the first period and then I kind of relaxed and starting getting other kids in the game,” Watts said. “We had to change our defense and missed a lot of free throws. WE could have sealed the deal early but in hindsight it was good to get an overtime win against a quality team.”
Claudia Hester and Imari Montalvo led the scoring with 12 points each. Autumn Norwood and Atara McGhaw added nine points each. McGhaw stepped up when Montalvo fouled out late in the game. She would go on to hit the winning shot in overtime.
The AHS girls picked up their first win of the new season, beating Northview on the second day of the North Forsyth tourney. The Lady Cougars struggled out of the gate, falling behind 13-5 in the first period. They team dominated the second period, taking a 24-22 halftime lead. AHS led 31-29 in the third period before pulling away in the fourth.
“We were a little deeper than them on the bench. They had a six man rotation and I played 14,” Watts said.
Montalvo led the team with 18 points. She had a double-double with 14 rebounds. Watts says his post player has been the most consistent player on the court throughout the early season games.
Hester followed with 10 points. Brooke Nail played her first game of the season after wrapping up club soccer. She played well defensively and added six points on offense.
AHS took on the Duluth Lady Wildcats in the opening round of the tourney on Saturday. The Lady Cougars got off to a horrendous start, which would lead to a 60-42 loss.
AHS was outscored 15-0 in the first period. The slow start irritated the head coach, who pulled pulled starters and played some younger kids late in the period. The young Lady Cougars did not allow a point to Duluth for the rest of the first.
For the next three periods, Alexander played well, dropping those 24 minutes by only three points. AHS cut the deficit to 24-17 by halftime. In the third period they trailed, 39-26.
“It was the same tail as earlier in the week against Pope when we only got beat by two in the second half. If we don’t do dumb stuff in the first half of ball games then we could be in them at the end,” Watts said. “We have not put together a complete game, but we ares till missing kids who are finishing up other sports and we had two out with the flu. The Duluth team is good and they already beat Hiram in our region. This was a good team to see where we place.”
Montalvo led Alexander with 19 points and also had double-digit rebounds. She hit six shots from the field and went 7-of-10 from the line.
“Imari did a good job of boxing out and rebounding. After the first quarter she was the most dominant kid on the floor,” Watts said.
Hester scored 10 points, going 6-for-8 from the line and hitting two field goals.
“When we get to the line, we are shooting well and we got production out of our two seniors,” Watts said. “We just have to get everyone on the same page. We are playing a lot of young kids.”