Greene County moved within one win of clinching the 4A Area 5 boys’ title with a 39-33 victory over Demopolis Monday night in Demopolis.

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Howard Crawford scored a game-high 19 points, a dominating effort in a game where defenses ruled and no other player for either team scored in double figures.

Demopolis opened the game on a 13-3 run keyed by transition baskets

and led 15-5 after the first quarter. The Tigers took their largest lead on a Willie Gracey free throw with 3:56 remaining in the half that pushed their advantage to 11 at 18-7.

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But Crawford led a 12-1 Greene County run over the final 2:51 to tie the game at 19 at the half. Demopolis would pull ahead again by four, 25-21, with 4:09 in the third quarter. But from that point the Greene defense would hold the home team to only eight points in the game’s final 12 minutes to slowly take control.

Six Crawford points helped Greene take a 28-25 lead after three quarters, and another Crawford bucket with 3:54 to play gave the visiting Tigers a commanding 32-27 lead. Greene County then hit six straight free throws down the stretch to ice the game.

Crawford’s effort for Greene County was followed by Curtis Nickson with 7, Michael Powell with 5, Robert Jones and Terell Powell with 3, and Quentin McElroy with 2.

Casey Cantey led Demopolis with 8 points, followed by Dontrell Miller and Willie Blount with 7, Brian Taylor wit h6, Patrick Robertson with3, and Gracey and MacArthur Johnson with 1.

The Demopolis Lady Tigers clinched at least a tie for first in Area 5 by surviving an inspired Greene County effort, 45-42.

The visitors took a 42-40 lead with 2:20 to play before a Shawnese Armstead free throw and a Katerria Johnson basket

gave Demopolis a slim one-point lead with 2 minutes remaining.

The Lady Tigers then forced a series of Greene County turnovers and got two free throws from Jasmine Simmons with 24.3 seconds remaining to ice the victory.