Alexander found that out the hard way Wednesday, as the Cougars fell to Villa Rica 51-36 in the opening game of the quarterfinals on the Lithia Springs High School court.
Three long scoring droughts killed the Cougars’ hopes. Alexander went the final three minutes of the second quarter and last 5:20 of the third without scoring and finally managed just a point over the final four minutes of the game.
Still Alexander had a chance to upset No. 3 seeded Villa Rica. The Cougars cut the gap to 36-33 on a short jumper by Deandre Harper with 5:51 left in the game. Alexander got a steal, but missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity.
A minuter later, trailing by five, a charging call wiped off a basket, and the Cougars hopes were pretty much over.
Orlandis Hill converted a 3-point basket, before a layup by Harper closed the margin to 41-35 at the four-minute mark. Alexander was forced to foul, and Villa Rica made only 8 of 14 down the stretch, but it was plenty, and the Cougars hit another dry spell.
Alexander led 12-11 after one quarter and was down only 22-21 during a low-scoring first 16 minutes. Alexander’s biggest lead (29-24) came on an offensive rebound by Jordan Thackston with 5:30 left in the third stanza. Villa Rica ended the quarter on a 8-0 run to go up 32-29 heading to the final period. AHS never regained the lead.
Harper led Alexander with 14 points, while Hill had 15 for Villa Rica, and Dee Thompson added 13.
Villa Rica advances to the semifinals and meets Lithia Springs at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Kell.
The loss ends the season for Alexander.