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Alexander Claims No. 1 Seed For State Title Tourney With 54-50 Win Over South Paulding

The Alexander Cougars defeated the South Paulding Spartans 54-50 for the GHSA 6A Region 5 tournament championship

As Georgia High School Association basketball region tournaments wrapped up on Saturday, the Alexander Cougars and the South Paulding Spartans battled for the Class 6A Region 5 championship as the Cougars looked to make it a clean sweep of the Spartans for the season after having won both regular season match ups. With the first quarter underway, the Cougars would set the tone, opening up the period on a 10-0 run, however the Spartans would show resilience as they would outscore Alexander 16-5 to close out the quarter with a 16-15 lead.

In the second quarter, a pair a back to back three point baskets would help South Paulding open up the quarter on a 6-0 run and they would build on their lead as they outscored the Cougars 15-6 in the period and would find themselves with a 10 point lead by halftime as they led 31-21. But as they have done throughout the season, the Cougars made the necessary adjustments at halftime and would dominate in the third quarter as they would outscore South Paulding 18-6 in the period and would take a 39-37 lead into the fourth quarter.

While they regained the lead and never relinquished it in the final period of play, the Spartans would not fold and with :23 remaining in the game, down by three points, South Paulding’s Andrew Lavigne would draw a foul on a three point shot attempt and would have a chance to tie the game. However, Lavigne would go 1-3 from the free throw line and Alexander would go on to pick up the 54-50 win. “We were being out toughed,” Alexander head coach Jason Slate said of his team’s performance in the first half which saw them let a 10 point lead get away and find themselves down by 10 points at halftime.

“They wanted it more than we did in the first half. We decided we wanted to win at halftime, so I’m proud of the effort in the second half,” Slate said of his players desire to turn the game around in their favor for the win. With the win and the No. 1 seed, the Cougars will take on Rome, who comes in as the No. 4 seed out of Region 6, next week and Slate says that in order for Alexander to take care of business in that game and afterwards, he needs his guys to come with “toughness”.


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