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Dominant Demopolis: Tigers win two by combined 50 points

The Demopolis boys basketball team is now officially on a roll.

The Tigers steamrolled Thomasville 62-26 Friday and comfortably defeated John Essex 54-40 Saturday, sweeping the season series from both rivals and improving to 9-2 on the season.

Sophomore forward Casey Cantey did not play in the Tigers’ first game of the season, a 45-35 loss to Francis Marion. Since then Cantey has started every game for Demopolis and the Tigers have gone 9-1, with the only setback a two point loss in overtime on the road at Sunshine.

Cantey had his usual solid game against John Essex, leading the Tigers with 13 points and adding four blocks and four steals. Dontrell Miller also finished in double digits with 12 points, and chipped in a game-high five steals on the defensive end.

Unlike the Dec. 30 meeting between Essex and Demopolis, when the Hornets started quick and took a lead into halftime, Saturday’s game was all Demopolis from the opening tip. The Tigers began the game with a 6-0 burst and led 16-6 after the first quarter.

Demopolis’s offense continued its efficiency in the second quarter, scoring 16 more points, claiming a 32-15 advantage at the half, and quieting the Essex supporters that had come to see their team’s first home game against Demopolis since 2003.

The Tigers cruised from there, leading by 15, 44-29, at the end of three periods and winning by 14.

As decisive a victory as the Essex game was for Demopolis, the one two nights prior against Thomasville was even more one-sided.

Back-to-back Thomasville baskets cut an early Demopolis lead to 10-6 with 3 minutes remaining in the first quarter. But behind a stifling defense that caused turnover after Thomasville turnover, Demopolis scored 19 of the game’s next 22 points and led 29-9 at halftime. Nine different Tigers had already scored by the break.

The second half saw the Tigers continue their defensive clamp-down as a series of three-pointers eventually stretched the lead to 49-15 after three quarters and 36 points at game’s end.

10 Tigers got their names on the scoresheet in the rout. Miller led the way with 13 points, followed by Patrick Robertson with 10, Willie Blount with 7, Cantey with 7, Brad Braxton with 6, Dwiaun White with 5, MacArthur Johnson with 5, Willie Gracey with 4, and Collins Espy with 1.

The win keeps Demopolis a perfect 3-0 in 4A Area 5 play. The Tigers will host Greensboro Tuesday before entering a critical three-game stretch, with area contests Friday at Greene Co., the following Tuesday vs. Choctaw Co., and the following Friday at Livingston.