By Lee Wright
Special to the News-Daily
The Dutchtown Lady Bulldogs got a dose of what the rest of Region 3AAAA girls basketball is going to have to deal with over the next couple of seasons when playing the Alcovy Lady Tigers - Ashley Williams.
Only a sophomore, Williams had another work-like performance on Friday night as Alcovy rolled to a key 59-43 region victory at Dutchtown. The victory improves the Lady Tigers to 12-2 overall and 4-0 in sub-region 3AAAA-A. Dutchtown falls to 9-5 overall and 3-2 in the subregion.
Williams was virtually unstoppable on the block for Alcovy. The 6-foot post recorded a double-double with 25 points and a whopping 27 rebounds. However, it was how dominant Williams controlled the paint that was impressive.
"Ashley is a very physically and mentally tough player, and she has a knack for the ball, and that was evident tonight," said Alcovy head coach Kidala Holtzclaw. "It's tough to win any game on the road, and it's a long season. We have plenty of business to take care of."
Dutchtown stayed toe-to-toe with Alcovy for much of the first half. In the second quarter alone, the Lady Bulldogs' Deandria Clark drained three 3-point baskets as Dutchtown took a 21-19 lead with 3:17 remaining in the first half. However, Williams scored twice on put-backs, and a jump shot by Kate Palo gave Alcovy a 26-21 lead at halftime.
The Lady Tigers broke it open in the third quarter. After Dutchtown trimmed the lead to seven points on three ocassions, Williams scored on a jumper in the lane and a 3-point basket by Kaci Palo gave Alcovy a 39-27 lead at the 2:30 mark.
Williams' lay-up with six seconds remaining stretched the Lady Tiger lead to 44-29.
Dutchtown would no closer than 14 points in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Alcovy twice went up by 20 points on inside lay-ups by Williams, including 57-37 with 2:30 remaining.
"With Dutchtown being such a young team, we didn't have a lot knowledge about them going into tonight," Holtzclaw said. "Once we made the defensive adjustments, we took control. We knew their points were coming from the perimeter."
In addition to Williams, Megan Tucker scored 16 points for Alcovy. For Dutchtown, Clark scored 17 points, and Dominique Clune added 11 points.
"We haven't played four quarters of basketball yet, and it came back to haunt us tonight," said Dutchtown head coach April Tate. "We never gave up, but we got into foul trouble way too early in the game and we did not protect the ball."
Dutchtown-Alcovy boys: At press time, the boys game between Alcovy and Dutchtown was tied 30-30 at halftime. Alcovy came into the game 7-5 overall and 2-1 in subregion 3AAAA-A, while Dutchtown was 5-8 and 3-1 in the subregion.