DHS boys defeat Dallas County

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 9, 2004

Thursday night the 11-9 Demopolis High School Tigers collected 18 points, allowed just 3 turnovers and went 10-of-13 (77 percent) from the line in the fourth period to slide past the visiting Dallas County Hornets 56-49.

Perhaps it was the sticky hot humidity in the air, or maybe it was the slippery floor conditions. But for the first time this season the Tigers finally played an entire four periods of basketball without giving the game away.

DHS head coach Jesse Bell has been preaching to his team all season about taking care of the basketball and Thursday night the Tigers finally listened. “We finally took care of the basketball when we needed to,” Bell said.

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The Tigers shot 21-of-51 from the floor and 11-of-19 from the line Thursday night, but it was clearly their fourth period performance that really made the difference.

“I could not believe my eyes, 10-of-13 from the line, 18 points and

3 turnovers in the fourth period,” Bell said. “That’s how you play basketball.”

The two teams looked to be evenly balanced in both speed and size and stayed within just a few points of each other throughout the night. Slippery floor conditions proved to be a constant problem for both teams, which according to coach Bell was probably due to humid weather.

“The floor was a problem all night. There was one area of the court that had collected a heavy amount of moisture and was very slippery,” Bell said. “Once the rain stopped, the humidity level went off the charts.”

For fans and players, sitting inside the DHS gym was like sitting in a sauna. At halftime, the players on the court weren’t the only one’s sweating. But neither the wet floor nor the hot air would slow down the Hornets.

Dallas County led throughout three periods of play with effective use of their outside game. But in the fourth period the Tigers dropped the hammer on the Hornets, outscoring them 18-13 with leading scorer Greg McClain leading the charge.

McClain collected 7 of his 16-total points in the fourth period while going 3-for-3 from the line.

“McClain really stepped up in the fourth period and played really well for us,” Bell said.

For the Hornets it was Vincent Moore leading the way with 15 points with Patrick Jackson following with 13 points.

With the Area 8 Tournament just around the corner, it looks like the Tigers may have finally found their game. If the Tigers can continue to play like they did Thursday night, then DHS fans might want to reserve a hotel reservation for Mobile.