The Cougar and Lady Cougar basketball teams traveled to East Paulding Friday night for a pair of region games. The AHS girls jumped out to an early lead against the Lady Raiders, going on to win, 58-23. The Alexander boys lost a 15 point lead in the fourth period but hung on for a 65-62 win.
In the girls game, the Lady Cougars led 22-8 after the first period, 33-13 at the half, and 40-17 after three periods.
AHS coach Adam Watts did his best to spread the scoring out while also getting his starters time on the court. The starters played the first period and the first three minutes of the third period. He subbed in regularly during the rest of the game.
“This was a good win, a team win, and a builder win,” Watts said. “We were able to get a lot of kids time to play varsity minutes. We cross our fingers and hope we don't have an injury, but just in case it is good to get many players ready to play.”
Six girls scored six or more points for AHS. Freshman Kiara Watson led the team with 11 points. Sophomore Loretta Eads followed with eight.
“Kiara used her athleticism to penetrate and went to the free throw line. She hit a couple of jump shots and pushed the basketball,” Watts said. “Loretta was the back up point guard at the end of the game and hit a couple of nice jump shots. This was a confidence builder.”
In the boys game, Alexander jumped out to a 15-12 first period lead and led 33-24 at the half. They were up 48-39 at the end of the third period and managed to take a 15 point lead early in the fourth. East Paulding then made a run, cutting the deficit to one before Artavius Love managed to knock down two free throws for the three point win.
“For three quarters and two minutes I thought we played really good defense,” said AHS coach Jason Slate. “When we decide to stop playing solid defense and go for steals, then they hit some wide open three’s because we are out of position. We were not blocking out on free throws and giving them extra chances. It was a dog fight at the end.”
Slate said the defense did a good job attacking the zone early in the game before the letdown at the end, but it was a region win on the road.
Mikell Lands-Davis led the team with 20 points. Isaac Zico followed with 13.
“Mikell was solid and if more players were solid like him then we would be a lot better,” Slate said. “Isaac got some offensive rebounds and put-backs and did a good job of slashing to the goal.”
“It was not pretty, but we will take it,” Slate said.