“They played their guts out. I can’t fault them at all. We showed up and played and didn’t roll over for them,” said head coach Jason Slate.
Slate said his team played “really well” but missed some key shots that could have made the difference. Along with some missed opportunities, Slate said the size of the South Atlanta players began to wear on his team as the Hornets had at least three inches on each of their assigned Alexander players.
Prior to making it to the quarterfinals, the Cougars defeated Grady 66-59 in the Sweet 16. While the team won by more than two baskets, Slate said he felt his team didn’t take advantage of chances to expand the lead.
“In the Grady game, I thought we had some opportunities to have a bigger lead in the first half but did not capitalize on those opportunities,” Slate said.
Slate said the team played well in the third quarter until the last 45 seconds when they proceeded to give up a nine-point lead before recovering in the fourth quarter to get the victory.
Slate said he had several players step up and give the team a great effort to pull off the win.
“Karim [Mawuenyega] and Lemarcus [Frazier] both played well and had 16 and 11 points. Mikell Lands had 15 points for us. Hassani Gravett had eight points, but also did a great job defending, rebounding, and taking care of the basketball. I thought the key was Jermaine Carpenter and Eric Arnold. These two guys did a great job rebounding and defending against their big man,” Slate said.
Overall for this season, Slate said his team played hard, had a great year and he is very proud of this season. The Cougars finished with a 23-7 record.