Tigers fall late after leading early

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 17, 2008

LIVINGSTON &8212; In the final minutes of Demopolis High School&8217;s 62-54 loss to Livingston High School, the Tigers&8217; two leading contributors on offense and defense &8212; Casey Cantey and Brian Taylor &8212; could do nothing but watch from the bench as the once-assured win slipped away.

Cantey, the team&8217;s undisputed leading scorer, arrived for the match up in street clothes, sitting out due to a hyper-extended shoulder sustained in the Tigers&8217; weekend win over Keith High School. But his team rallied without his presence and opened the game with a dominant first quarter against the Livingston Cougars, going up 20-10.

Despite fighting a press introduced by Livingston in the second quarter that helped bring the game within five points, the Tigers held on to their 10 point lead from the first quarter heading into the half, 34-24, and still controlling the game.

The beginning of the end for Demopolis and the beginning of the rally for Livingston had its origins in the third quarter, as problems that would continue to plague the team the rest of the game began to surface.

The Cougars fought the off-balance Tigers within four points to close the third quarter and sending the game into its final frame.

Perhaps the biggest blow to Demopolis occurred early in the fourth quarter, when Brian Taylor fouled out with six minutes left in the game.

Less than two minutes later, Livingston took their first lead, 48-47, since the opening minutes.

In the ensuing back-and-forth play, Livingston grabbed the edge as Demopolis missed several open lay ups and Terrence Irby missed three free throws. Livingston, too, missed several from the line in the final minutes but put backs off of offensive rebounds for the Cougars helped the group expand its lead to the 62-54 final.

Sidney Little and Donald Wright contributed 13 points each for Livingston, while Keiwan Jones lead the group with 14. The Cougars shot 23-of-38 from the line for the game.

The Tigers only shot 8-of-15 from the line and both Taylor and Anthony Hardy fouled out. Taylor and Fred Irby lead DHS in scoring with 12 apiece.