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Cougars recover from losses, shoot for playoffs
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
January 29, 2013 03:50 PM | 1183 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alexander basketball players, from left,
Lemarcus 
Frazier and Karim Mawuenyega.
Alexander basketball players, from left, Lemarcus Frazier and Karim Mawuenyega.
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After back-to-back losses in games three and four of the season, the Alexander boys’ basketball team went on a seven-game win streak before another set of back-to-back losses in early January against Shaw and LaGrange.

“Main issue in Shaw game was 32-8; that is the number of points they had from the free throw line and eight is our points from the free throw line,” said head coach Jason Slate.

Outside of free throws, Slate said he felt his team did a “poor job defensively in executing our game plan”. Against LaGrange, Slate said he felt a lot better about how his team played; things just didn’t go their way that night.

“I thought we played one of our better games of the season. It was definitely our best defensive effort. On offense we had good looks, just couldn’t get many of them to fall,” Slate said.

With Shaw and LaGrange being region opponents, Alexander will play them again. These three schools are currently at the top of the 5-AAAA standings as they prepare for the postseason.

With the regular season coming to a close, Alexander is staying focused, “playing one game at a time” and working to catch up to both of these teams, he said.

“We are trying to finish as one or two [in the region standings] to get an automatic bid to the state tournament,” said Slate.

After those losses, the Cougars went back into their normal flow and pulled together a five-game win streak, with four of those games being region games.

“We knew we played pretty well in both of those losses, but we knew that we had to get better at some things and we have,” Slate said.

Alexander stood at 14-4 overall, 5-2 in the region last week.

At this point, Alexander is in a good rhythm, but Slate said his team still needs to work on their inside play and rebounding.

However, there are several aspects of their game he feels make a positive impact for the team and keep them going strong.

“Our strengths would have to be shooting, defense and depth,” Slate said.

The Cougars are leading the region in points scored with 1,238 for an average of 68.7 per game. Defensively, Alexander is fourth in the region for points allowed, giving up 59.2 points a night on average.

As far as depth goes, the Cougars suit 12 varsity players — 10 upperclassmen — six of which can rotate at the point and shooting guard positions while the other six rotate in the positions near the basket.
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