Defense, Tigers, defense
DEMOPOLIS– With Bibb Co. storming back from a double-digit deficit and the game on the line, Demopolis’s varsity boys got defensive. And they got the win.
The Tigers scored the final 15 points of Friday night’s home game against the visiting Choctaws, blowing open a 52-44 game for a 23-point 67-44 win. The victory is Demopolis’s first of the season and evens their record at 1-1.
The Tigers got a huge night from sophomore Chris Cantey, who scored 28 in his first performance of the season after missing the Tigers’ first game, a 45-35 loss to Francis Marion. Dontrell Miller also reached double figures for Demopolis, chipping in 11.
The game was back-and-forth for much of the first half. Demopolis built a 21-15 lead on Patrick Robertson’s three-pointer with 6:16 remaining in the second quarter, but Bibb responded with seven points in only 1:19 to take their own lead at 22-21.
But Demopolis would finish the half on a 16-5 run of their own. Back-to-back baskets by Miller gave the Tigers a 30-25 lead before a three-point play and another field goal with 1:15 in the half gave Cantey 14 for the half and Demopolis an eight-point lead at the break.
It was more of the same in the third quarter as the Tigers scored seven of the first eight points of the second half to push their lead to 42-28. But Bibb’s Rodney Stabler drained three consecutive threes to suddenly cut the Tiger lead to five.
Demopolis would pull away again, getting four baskets from four different players (MacArthur Johnson, Miller ,cantey, and Willie Blount) between the 3:24 and 53-second mark of the third quarter to take a 50-41 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Another Stabler three cut Demopolis’s lead to eight at 52-44 with 6:40 remaining, but it was all Demopolis from there. As the Tiger defense held Bibb scoreless for the remainder of the game, Willie Gracey got Demopolis’s 15-0 run started with a layup and Cantey scored 8 of 10 Demopolis points in one 4:15 stretch to put the Choctaws well out of reach.
In addition to Cantey’s and Miller’s big nights, Demopolis got 9 points from Blount, 5 from Robertson, 4 each from Johnson and Gracey, 2 each from Brian Taylor and Collins Espy, and 1 from Brian Burrell.
The Demopolis basketball teams will be in action again Friday when they take on Thomasville on the road. The junior varsity boys will tip off at 5 p.m. with varsity girls and boys to follow.