DHS girls, boys dominate Choctaw
Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 19, 2006
The Demopolis boys entered their Tuesday night game against Choctaw County on their first losing streak of the season. The way they played, it might have been their last of the season, too.
The Tigers bounced back from back-to-back losses over the weekend with an 86-44 home thrashing of the visitors from Butler. The outcome was never in doubt as Demopolis seized a 20-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and cruised from there.
“I was worried about a letdown after Saturday,” Demopolis head coach Jesse Bell said. “But we played well. If you average 20 points a quarter, you can’t argue with that.”
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As usual, Demopolis was paced by its defense. The Tigers collected 18 steals and forced numerous Choctaw turnovers which were regularly converted into easy baskets on the other end. Senior guard Dontrell Miller finished with six steals to go with a game-high 23 points.
A Choctaw basket with 4:08 remaining in the first quarter made the early score 6-4, but it was all Demopolis from there. Miller stroked back-to-back threes to quickly boost the lead to eight. After a Casey Cantey basket Miller scored six straight points again, giving the Tigers a 15-point lead after one.
Choctaw scored with 6:12 left in the second quarter to cut the lead to 24-12, but a Collins Espy three sparked a 17-9 run over the remainder of the period that pushed the Tigers’ lead to 41-21 at the break. The lead would have stretched further had officials not waved off a halfcourt heave by MacArthur Johnson that banked in at the halftime buzzer.
The Tigers’ dominance continued in the second half as they outscored Choctaw 23-9 in the third quarter and 22-14 in the fourth, a long Patrick Robertson three providing the Tigers’ biggest lead and 42-point final margin.
Three different Tigers joined Miller in double figures: Cantey with 13 points, Robertson with 12, and Brian Taylor with 11. They were followed by Espy with 9, Dwiaun White with 8, and Willie Blount and Johnson with 3.
With the win, Demopolis improved to 11-4 overall on the season and 4-1 in 4A Area 5 play. But if there was a downside to the Tigers’ performance Tuesday, it was their continued problems at the free throw line, where they shot 12-26 for 46 percent. Demopolis has shot less than 50 percent from the line for the season.
“I told our guys,” Bell said, “‘You can’t win in the playoffs shooting free throws like this.’ We have to get better.”
Demopolis girls 59, Choctaw 36
Demopolis won their fourth straight area game in comfortable fashion, playing excellent first-quarter defense to take a 12-4 lead at the end of one and gradually building their advantage into a 23-point victory.
“I think we played well in spurts,” said head coach Tony Pittman. “We had a couple of letdowns in the second half. But overall I was pleased with our play. We’re making strides, and that’s what you like to see. You want your team to get hot late in the season, and we’re getting there.”
Demopolis was led by the experienced interior tandem of Johnson-and-Johnson. Katerria Johnson scored a game-high 17 points and pulled down 9 rebounds, while Kelli Johnson finished with 9 points, 7 rebounds, and a team-high 4 blocks.
With Demopolis dominating the post, their eight-point lead at the end of the first quarter grew to 30-15 by halftime and 42-25 after three quarters.
Shawnese Armstead also finished in double figures with 13 points. Jasmine Simmons scored 5, Alicia Arnold and Jocelyn Lawson 4 each, and Krystal Walker, Alexandra Brock, and Loreal Moore with 2 points apiece.
After losing their first 4A Area 5 game on the road at Thomasville, Demopolis has improved to 4-1 in area play, 9-4 overall, and is now in first place in the area.
Both Tiger teams will be back in action Friday, on the road for another area game at Livingston.