Lady Tigers continue rise in area

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 20, 2004

With their 49-33 area win Friday night over the Greene County Tigers, the Demopolis High School varsity girls are sitting high above all others in Class 4A Area 8.

But if they wish to stay at the top, they must learn to play the first half like they play the second.

The 8-2 Lady Tigers kept a slow pace Friday night throughout the first half, feeling out their opponent like they have done much of the season, falling behind by as much as 4 points going into the half.

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And DHS head coach Tony Pittman knows if the Lady Tigers want to go to Birmingham this season, they had better pick up the pace in the first half of play.

“I like how the girls are playing right now, but we are still a second half basketball team and that has to change soon,” Pittman said.

Once the second half gets under way, the Lady Tigers really know how to turn up the heat and get things cooking on the court.

Trailing by 4 at the half, The Lady Tigers took charge in the second half and outscored Greene County 32-12 to get the win. Sophomore Katira Johnson led the way for the Lady Tigers with 16 points and 12 rebounds with senior Janet Woods following up with 12 points, 5 steals and 2 assist.

But as impressive as their offensive stats were, it was the Lady Tigers’ defense that really made the difference. There were no easy shots for the Greene County lady Tigers in the second half as DHS closed off the lane and forced Greene County to shoot it from the cheap seats.

“I thought we did a great job on defense and I can’t say enough about the girls who came off the bench. I like were we are defensively right now. The girls are playing hard,” Pittman said.

While things are looking good defensively for the Lady Tigers, offensively there is work to be done. The Lady Tigers were 40 percent from the floor Friday night hitting 17-of-43 and shot 48 percent from the line hitting 12-of-25.

But the turnovers are down from plus 20 last week to just 10 this week, which makes a significant difference. “That is a big plus for us right now,” Pittman said.

The Lady Tigers are 2-0 in area play with Friday night’s win, but there is no time to relish in the moment with a trip to Livingston lurking ahead this week. But first the Lady Tigers must face off with both Choctaw County tonight and Bibb County Wednesday night.