Alexander competed in the Roundball Classic in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday and Monday. In the opening round, the Cougars took on national powerhouse, Seton Hall Prep. AHS lost the opening game, 85-60.
In day two of the tourney on Monday, Alexander defeated Hanahan High School (South Carolina), 72-51.
The Cougars were shocked to find out they would be playing 16 minute halves instead of eight minutes quarters after arriving to the tourney on Saturday. AHS came out strong against Seton Hall, taking a five point lead after the first 12 minutes. However, Seton Hall moved to a 3-2 zone defense and has hurt the Cougars all year. The new defense created a 21 point swing, with AHS falling behind, 51-35 at the half.
“That 2-3 zone is what we are going to see until we get good at attacking,” said AHS coach Jason Slate. “We were not hitting good shots, taking quick shots, and basically we helped them offensively. They got a lot more comfortable.”
Slate added that in the second half, his team did a better job against the zone, attacking a little bit better, but could not do enough to get out of the hole.
“It wasn’t fatigue, it was just different,” said Slate on the 16 minute half. “We have an opportunity to sit down after eight minutes and figure things out but I would have had to blown my third timeout.”
Mikell Lands-Davis led the AHS offense with 13 points. Trae Jones followed with 11 and Isaac Zico added 10.
“As a group, over the first 12 minutes we played tremendously,” Slate said. “Right now we are just not tough enough to do the things we need to do at a high level.”
On Monday, AHS jumped out to a 39-30 lead at halftime while still playing college style basketball. The Cougars came out slow after the break but the bench helped the team get back into the game and Alexander finished strong.
“We got into foul trouble early but did a good job of taking a nine point lead at the half,” Slate said. “We came out a little flat in the second half but I brought the bench in quick and they did a great good job of getting the pace back up and then we did a good job after that defending and sharing the basketball.”
The Cougars had a well balanced offensive night. Trae Jones led the team with 12 points. Grant Howard followed with 11.
“Trae was pretty even with his scoring and hit some perimeter shots, had some good drives, and hit his free throws,” Slate said. “Grant played solid, doing most of his scoring in the first half. He did a good job of distributing the ball.”
Artavius Love and Antonio Hall scored nine points each. Hall was one of the biggest contributors off the bench in the second half.
Jordan Brown stepped in and played good defense while also adding six points. Josh Heath played well defensively as well, putting pressure on the ball and forcing turnovers.