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Alexander focused on region play
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
December 26, 2012 03:08 PM | 1364 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alexander High varsity basketball players, from left, Lemarcus Frazier and Karim Manuenyega.
Alexander High varsity basketball players, from left, Lemarcus Frazier and Karim Manuenyega.
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As the schools go on their holiday breaks, the Alexander boys’ basketball team is 5-2 — not where they wanted to be at this point in the season.

However, they are playing hard and still getting ready for the region games soon to come that count toward the playoffs.

“Our goal was to be 7-0 and, of course, we didn’t accomplish that goal, but on the other hand, we are two shots away from being 7-0. I think the kids are playing hard and have stepped up to a difficult challenge,” said head coach Jason Slate.

While Slate is still pleased with the team’s record, he did have some issues with how his team executed their plays in the two losses.

“I thought we did a poor job executing offensively in both of those games. I thought we did a terrible job of converting turnovers into points,” Slate said.

Every game the team has played thus far has been against a county rival, and the first four games were on the road.

The Cougars have two returning starters from last season, Lemarcus Frazier and Karim Mawuenyega. Frazier and Mawuenyega are both 6-foot senior guards and Slate said both were basically trying too hard when the season started.

“[Mawuenyega], early was trying to do too much. Lately he has been doing a good job of scoring within the offense. Much like Karim, [Frazier] was trying to do too much to score. Now has really been scoring within the offense and scoring after forced turnovers,” said Slate.

Frazier and Mawuenyega are the team’s leading scorers.

On the opposite side, 6-foot-1 junior guard Jaquon Grier and 5-foot-10 junior guard Kevion Dailey are said to be the team’s top defenders.

“Both of these guys are great at applying pressure. They can change a game with their defensive intensity,” Slate said.

For this season, the Cougars set five goals for themselves — win 20 games, qualify for the state tournament, win the region tournament, win a state playoff game and win the state championship. Prior to the region play beginning in January, Alexander will compete in a Christmas tournament at Allatoona.

“I expect to see great competition that will prepare us for region play,” said Slate.
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