Sumter outlasts Demopolis High

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 9, 2004

It was obvious that the Demopolis High School Tigers boys varsity team had enough talent on the court Wednesday night to beat the No. 2 ranked 3A Sumter County Wildcats, but just not enough energy to do it.

The Tigers fell 40-29 to the 14-1 Wildcats after hanging tough for three periods of play and even leading 28-27 as the fourth period started. But the Tigers could only muster one point in the fourth period while the Wildcats racked up an easy 13 points to put the game out of reach.

Tigers head coach Jesse Bell thought his team did a great job against the Wildcats up until they ran out of gas in the fourth period. "We had done everything that we set out to do against them, but the kids just got tired in the fourth and gave the game away," Bell said.

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It was a shame to see the Tigers fall behind in the fourth after they had done such an outstanding job of containing Wildcats lead scorer Reynaldo Sturdivant who averages 18 to 20 points per game. Throughout two periods of play the Tigers held Sturdivant to just two points by forcing him to move to his right to shoot, which was something the Tigers had worked on coming into the game.

But in the end Strudivant racked up 13 points on the night with seven of his 13 coming in the fourth period. "We just didn’t fight till the end," Bell said.

One reason why the Tigers were not able to hang with the Wildcats in the fourth period might have something to do with rotation. While Sumter County head coach Johnny Patrick continuously rotated his players throughout the third period and even fell behind on the scoreboard, coach Bell kept his five on the court for most of the second half.

But regardless of the reason there are still plenty of problems that the Tigers need to find answers for. The problems the Tigers have been facing at the line continue to be a factor in the wins and losses column. But ironically the Tigers only point in the fourth period came from the line as they went 0-12 from the floor.

After going 5-1 to get the season off to a good start, the Tigers are now 5-3 and will need to find a way to get things back on track before their rematch with Thomasville tonight in Demopolis.