By any means necessary

Published 10:52 pm Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Demopolis (3-0), fresh off Friday night’s 43-42 upset over No. 3 ranked Selma, are at work preparing for Friday’s Area 5 clash with Carver.

“Carver just dropped down from 6A to 5A and I’m sure it’s going to be a very high level of ball played down there,” head coach Tony Pittman said of his team’s impending matchup with one of the preseason favorites in Area 5.

Pittman said he spoke with his team early about the need to guard against a letdown game.

“We talked about that Friday night after the ball game,” Pittman said. “The tendency after a game like that is kind of to play down.”

The win Friday came after a back-and-forth, emotional game that saw a series of lead changes before Kiera Carter’s buzzer-beating three fell through the net to clinch the victory.

“We work on situations in practice; down one, down two,” Pittman said of the sequence leading up to Demopolis’ final possession. “We work on that all the time, especially on Thursdays before games.”

“ I heard somebody say ‘Shoot it.’ I looked and there were a few second left. So I put it up. It was kind of unreal,” Carter said of the experience. “But I thought we deserved it because we fought the whole game. Everybody put in their part.”

According to Pittman, the team’s success was predicated on its tenacious defensive play.

“We were matching basket for basket and our kids were playing really well on the defensive end,” Pittman said.

“We’re a small basketball team. We’ve got more teamwork (than in previous years). I think that’s our team all year long,” Shay Smith said of the scrappy identity the Demopolis girls portrayed in Selma for their first area win of the season.

The girls believe the confidence boost they received from Friday night’s win will help them as they continue the season.

“It gives us confidence that we’ve actually got a shot at state this year,” Valissa Sams said of the win.

Pittman is adamant that such confidence is the primary intangible his group has lacked.

“The biggest thing for us is believing,” Pittman said. “We’ve got to believe we can play with anybody at anytime.”

That faith will likely play a huge role in determining where Demopolis ends up in an area that includes preseason favorites Carver and Selma.

“Don’t count us out just because we’re young,” Pittman said.