Lady Hawks ride momentum to first-round state playoff romp
by Adam Carrington
acarrington@mdjonline.com
February 22, 2014 04:00 AM | 1693 views | 3 3 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tene Thompson goes in for a layup Friday as Alcovy’s Keidra Sears trails. Thompson had 12 points as the Hillgrove dominated from the start in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs.
<Br>Staff photo by Jeff Stanton
Tene Thompson goes in for a layup Friday as Alcovy’s Keidra Sears trails. Thompson had 12 points as the Hillgrove dominated from the start in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs.
Staff photo by Jeff Stanton
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POWDER SPRINGS — Hillgrove scored 22 points Friday night before it allowed Alcovy to get on the board, late in the first quarter.

From that point on, the Lady Hawks never allowed Alcovy to get within 22 points and won 84-45 in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs.

Now, Hillgrove (24-4) will make the long trip to Valdosta to face Lowndes in Monday’s second round. The Vikettes had a rout of their own in a first-round win against Newnan.

Coming into Friday’s game, Hillgrove was wanting to sustain the momentum it had established in the Region 4AAAAAA championship game against McEachern.

Though the Lady Hawks lost by 12 to their archrival, they had one of their better starts of the season and led by nine after the first quarter.

“Against McEachern, we came out with high intensity, and (Friday night), we wanted to come out with a winning mindset,” said Mackenzie Engram, who led Hillgrove with 18 points.

The Lady Hawks had a significant size advantage against Alcovy (10-18), the No. 3 seed of Region 2AAAAAA, and created mismatches inside the paint.

Tene Thompson made a layup just seconds after the opening tip, and the points kept coming for Hillgrove. Engram followed with a pair of jumpers, Thompson converted a layup off a turnover and Zarriah Pierce hit two free throws to put Hillgrove ahead by double digits in the first 3 minutes.

The Lady Hawks started out 7-of-9 from the field and led 17-0 at the 3:31 mark.

The lead swelled to 22-0 on an uncontested layup by Pierce before Alcovy’s Quantasia Perry hit a layup with 1:12 left to play.

That launched a 6-0 run for the Lady Tigers to end the first quarter, but Hillgrove put a stop to it at the start of the second. Ja’lyn Reese hit a 3 to open the second quarter and added two more routine layups off steals to secure a 31-8 lead.

Alcovy scored more often in the second quarter, but it never threatened, and the first half ended with a three-point play by Pierce and a layup by Engram.

“We wanted to use our size to our advantage and push the ball inside,” Hillgrove coach Susan Milam said. “We also wanted to carry the momentum from one game to the next.”

With Hillgrove subbing liberally in the second half, the lead grew to 30 early in the third quarter, after Engram’s layup off a steal. Alcovy tried to keep fighting and cut the gap to 25, but when the Lady Hawks started doing a better job blocking out, the lead was back in the thirties.

Savannah Harris banked a 3-pointer from the left wing in the final minute of the third to stretch Hillgrove’s lead to 69-36 and induce a shortened fourth quarter.

Perry led Alcovy with 11 points.
Comments
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Way to Go!
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February 22, 2014
Outstanding job, ladies! Keep working hard. You can make it all the way. Don't worry about all the crap on here about McEachern. Even if they are allowed to play in the finals, you have done a great job! Let the adults worry about handling mCEachern, you focus on winning the next game!
learn to spell
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February 25, 2014
The proper way to type McEachern is McEachern. McEachern is not worried about Hillgrove. Never have been, never will be:)
troydache
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February 22, 2014
GREAT win Lady Hawks..... lead them, "Big Smoove" ....Be Great!
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