[Shane Scalfaro | WOUB]

Alexander utilizes late surge to survive and advance over Lynchburg-Clay

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ALBANY, Ohio (WOUB) — The Alexander Spartans are headed to the District tournament after a hard-fought victory against the Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs. In their last game in front of their home crowd in the Alley on Friday night, the seventh-seeded Spartans were able to top the 23-seed Mustangs 63-58 in this Sectional Final matchup.

This game was a tale of two halves for the Spartans. In the first half, both teams got out to an extremely hot start on offense. Kyler D’Augustino was phenomenal as he was able to collect 19 of his own points in the first half thanks to an efficient performance from behind the arc in the two quarters.

Despite an efficient offense showing in the first half from Alexander, they seemingly could not buy a stop in the first half. When Lynchburg-Clay was able to slow down the game and set up their offense, they got any shot they wanted. They were able to capitalize on the great shot selections in the half by making it rain from three as they took a 36-31 lead in the halftime locker room.

It was clear that the Spartans needed to make some key adjustments in the second half on the defensive end of the floor. They were successfully able to make the Mustangs take more uncomfortable shots in the second half as they effectively switched their defensive scheme from zone to man.

Another one of the keys to success in the second half for Alexander was increasing the pace of play. “Lynchburg sends five guys to the offensive glass,” Alexander head coach Jeff Skinner said. “We thought if we could get clean rebounds, we would have a chance to get some layups.”

The Spartans were able to capitalize on the aggressive rebounding approach of the Mustangs. They were able to dominate play in transition of this game, as running the floor was crucial for Alexander to gain an offensive advantage.

Once they were able to take a lead in the third quarter, there was no looking back for the Spartans. After getting into the bonus early in the fourth quarter, Alexander was able to hold off Lynchburg-Clay late by getting to the free-throw line late.

“We made adjustments super well,” said Spartan star guard Kyler D’Augustino. “We struggled in the first half. In the second half, we adjusted, we found the gaps, and then we got wide open shots.”

D’Augustino finished this game with a monster stat line. He racked up 31 points to go along with ten rebounds and five assists.

Alexander guard Jagger Cain was also a key to Alexander’s victory tonight. His 12-point performance was vital as some of his buckets came at the most key points in the game. Also, Cain’s defensive performance in the second half to slow down the offense of the Mustangs played a crucial role in the outcome of the game.

With the victory, Alexander will advance to the District Semifinals against the second-seeded Fairland Dragons on Feb. 26. in Waverly.

The Spartans try to take the momentum from the second half of their Sectional Final victory as they will look to pull off the upset against the Dragons.