DHS splits weekend slate

Published 11:06 pm Monday, December 15, 2008

Demopolis boys head basketball coach Jesse Bell said his team started to put it together over the weekend. The Tigers lost to area opponent Carver 63-58 on the road Friday night before returning home to beat Pickens County 53-43.

“We made a huge step,” Bell said. “We were right where we wanted to be at Carver.”

After falling behind in the second half, Bell’s team made a late run to close the gap on Carver before turnovers and an inability to establish dominance on the boards handed the game to the Wolverines.

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“We’ve got to improve on rebounding and taking care of the basketball,” Bell said. “We got back in it and then we had some crucial turnovers.”

Anthony Hardy led the way Friday with 18 points while Johnathan Marshall added 17. Hardy struck again for 14 Saturday night. Fred Irby contributed 14 points of his own, including 10 in the fourth quarter. Marshall wrapped up the night with 11.

Bell said his team gave up too many second chance buckets in the Carver contest, miring an otherwise strong defensive performance.

“Rebounding is desire,” Bell said. “That’s something we work on everyday in practice.”

Bell said the team will focus many of its efforts this week on improving its rebounding.

“That’s the emphasis for the week,” Bell said of the team’s need to improve its rebounding prowess. “Our offensive emphasis for the week is playing to our strength.”

Bell said that emphasis will include controlling the ball and continuing to improve shot selection.

“The last two ball games we’ve had better shot selection,” Bell said. “We’ve got to change our turnover-to-assist ratio. We’ve had more turnovers than assists.”

The Tigers will also reportedly focus a great deal of energy on their mid-range game.

“We’ve got to learn to attack the basket and get in that 15-foot area and score,” Bell said.

His team is preparing for its next game, which will come Friday night when the team hosts area rival Selma, who routed the Tigers two weeks ago. Bell encourages all fans to attend and where white as the Tigers are looking to host their first “White Out” of the season.

“I assure you, it won’t be like it was the first game,” Bell said of the impending rematch with the Saints.