Alexander traveled to take on Hiram in a regional matchup Friday night. The Lady Cougars fell short, 52-51, in a tightly contested battle, while boys' team held on to pull out a 83-76 victory.
The AHS girls were led by three players in double figures. Brooke Nail finished with 13 points, and Claudia Hester and Imari Mantavo chipped in with 10.
The Alexander girls were in a close battle the whole night. After a tied first quarter, 12-12, the Lady Cougars outscored the Hornets by one in the second quarter to take a 29-28 lead into halftime.
The Lady Hornets took control of the game in the third quarter, taking advantage of poor shooting by AHS. The Lady Cougars struggled from the field, converting on just three field goals in the entire third.
Hiram, led by Jayda Dooley's 20 points, took a 41-36 lead into the fourth quarter.
Alexander and Hiram traded blows in the final quarter. Alexander, with a one point lead with 27 seconds left, had the opportunity to seal it from the free throw line. Hester missed the front end of a one-and-one, giving Hiram a chance. A Lady Hornet was fouled with four seconds left. Aliyah Thomas converted both free throws, then Alexander turned it over as the buzzer sounded
"There the best team in the region, and we were right there," said Head Coach Adam Watts. "This is a tough loss. They are going to have to brush this off, and come back after the break ready."
Alexander boys' team was a bit more fortunate Friday night. The Cougars displayed a balanced scoring attack, with five players scoring in double figures. Trae Johnson had a team-high 21 points, Grant Howard and Artavius Love added 13 points each, and both Josh Heath and Mikell Lands-Davis finished with 10.
"It was a team effort," said Head Coach Jason Slate. "Five guys in double figures, that's what we want."
Alexander started off strong. Midway through the opening quarter, with the game tied at seven, the Cougars went on a 22-9 run to close out the first. Johnson sparked the run scoring eight straight pints. Lands-Davis completed a 4-point play during the stretch to help Alexander take a 29-16 lead after one.
Hiram fought back. Led by D. Brewer, who had a game-high 23 points, the Hornets cut the deficit to 44-37 going into halftime.
Both teams scored 19 in the third and Alexander went into the fourth with a 63-56 lead.
The Hornets would cut the lead to four in the final two minutes, but the Cougars used a strong press defense to force two crucial turnovers, then knocked down late free throws to seal the victory.
"I thought we came out with a lot of intensity," said Slate. "You have to when you're on the road against a good team."