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DHS boys, girls defeat Sunshine

Both Demopolis varsity basketball teams were upset by the surprising Sunshine Tigers in the teams’ first meetings Dec. 27. Both made sure Saturday night that wasn’t going to happen again.

The DHS Lady Tigers used a stifling defense and a big night from sophomore point guard Jasmine Simmons to take a 14-point victory, 38-24. Sunshine’s leading scorers Francesca Bates and Shonna Myers were held to 10 and 9 points, respectively, 9 fewer than they combined for in the teams’ initial meeting, a 43-41 Sunshine win in Newbern.

“We’re playing better defense, and that’s what you want to see going into the playoffs,” says Lady Tiger head coach Tony Pittman.

Demopolis was led by Simmons’ 11 points. She was joined in double figures by Shawnese Armstead, who scored 10 and was followed by Kierra Plaskett with 7, Kelli Johnson with 6, and Katerria Johnson and Valissa Sams with 2 each. Katerria Johnson, a senior forward, more than made up for her off-night on the scoresheet with 15 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal.

“She found a way to stay involved,” says Pittman. “I’ll take that any day.”

Outside of Bates’ 10 and Myers’ 9, Sunshine received 2 points each from Courtney Latham and Shereena Carter and 1 from Shaquilla Carter.

The Demopolis boys fell to Sunshine in overtime 55-53 the first time around, but left little doubt Saturday, taking a 22-9 first quarter lead and never looking back on their way to a 52-35 win.

Freshman forward Brian Taylor provided the spark for Demopolis, scoring eight first-quarter points as the homestanding Tigers built a 13-point lead at the end of one and an 18-point lead at the half, 35-17. From there Demopolis pushed the lead to 45-25 after three quarters before a late Sunshine run resulted in the 17-point win.

Casey Cantey led Demopolis with 14 points, followed by Taylor’s 12, Dontrell Miller’s 11, Willie Blount’s 4, Willie Gracey’s 4, MacArthur Johnson’s 4, and Patrick Robertson’s 3.

Sunshine was paced by Marcus Lee and Reako Long, each of whom scored a team-high 8 points. Darmekis Lewis scored 7 points, David Taylor 4, and Ryan Washington, Royce Hamilton, Vintez Woods, and Justin Wagner with 2 each.

Sunshine travels to American Christian Tuesday night with both teams looking to keep their perfect 1A Area 8 records intact.