DHS boys flatline in thriller

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 1, 2004

MOBILE &110; To say that Friday’s Southwest Regional quarterfinal match-up between the Demopolis High Tigers and the Choctaw County Tigers was intense would be putting lightly.

Before it was all over, coaches and fans from both teams would have to issued heart medication, blood pressure medication and oxygen. But though efforts were made, nothing could resuscitate the DHS Tigers as they fell 48-47 in a thriller ending.

The Tigers did have several chances to pull of the historical win, but the ball never seemed to bounce their way. "The ball just didn’t bounce our way in the end," said Tigers head coach Jesse Bell.

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The official cause of death for the Tigers would be due to a poor team performance at the free throw line in the fourth period and one costly mistake from sophomore Cedric McKinley.

Though he lead the team with 12 points, 11 rebounds and one block, Demopolis High sophomore Cedric McKinley made one mistake in Friday’s quarterfinal against the Choctaw County Tigers he may never forget.

With four seconds on the clock and the game tied at 47-47, McKinley intentionally fouled Choctaw’s Morquell Drummond, sending him to the line with two shots, but Drummond only needed one to give the Choctaw Tigers a 48-47 win.

The Tigers shot 2-of-6 (33 percent) from the line in the first half and were 7-of-12 (58 percent) in the second half for a grand total 9-of-18 (50 percent).

The Tigers, like they have done most of the season, lead throughout the first three periods of play and entered the fourth period with an eight-point lead at 35-27 only to watch it all disappear right before their eyes. Choctaw outscored the Tigers 21-12 in the fourth period shooting 6-of-10 (60 percent) from the line.

But even with the mistakes in the fourth period the Tigers still had a chance to win. Choctaw took their lead at the 3:57 mark and quickly transformed a 2-point, 40-38 lead to a 45-40 lead with the use of their impressive outside game.

Dixon was 3-of-5 against the Tigers from behind the arch with his last three-pointer just when the Choctaw Tigers needed it. In a game that saw almost ever resident of Butler in attendance and in full support of their Tigers, Dixon’s three-pointer in the fourth period was enough to not only give the Tigers a five-point lead, but also send the large Butler crowd into orbit.

But what was even more igniting for the large crowd was the side line performance of first year Choctaw head coach Clinton Thomas Sr. Coach Thomas made a nice spectacle of himself throughout the game with his arrogant antics up and down the sidelines, which in the end made the loss a bit harder to swallow.

While the Tigers may have a new found dislike for the Choctaw County Tigers, coach Bell is still very proud of his team and said that he can see a new future on the horizon for DHS basketball.