Freshmen lead way for DHS

Published 9:43 pm Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A depleted DHS girls squad defended home court Saturday, snagging a 59-33 win over Linden in a game in which Demopolis dressed only seven players.

A slew of injuries and illnesses prompted head coach Tony Pittman to field a starting lineup that included three freshmen. The decision is one Pittman said he hesitated very little in making.

“This time of the season, I don’t call them ‘freshmen’ anymore,” Pittman said. “they’ve got a lot of games under their belt and they are expected to perform.”

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Performing is exactly what the the team’s young guns did as they spurred the 26-point victory in front of a capacity crowd during the Demopolis Classic.

“With the injuries and things that are going on, we’ve really been focused on keeping it together,” Pittman said.

One of the freshmen placed in a demanding situation by the team’s swell of bad fortune was Demekia Marshall.

“You talk about Demekia Marshall, who scored 15 points (against Linden) as a freshman,” Pittman said. “It’s confidence with her. She’s getting a lot of reps because (senior) Shay (Smith) is really pushing her in practice.”

Her efforts were surpassed only by senior Valissa Sams’ 16 points. Freshman Megan Smith also scored in double figures in the contest, finishing with 11.

Pittman said the necessary productivity of his freshmen players would be an absolute impossibility without the assistance of the team’s leaders.

“Those seniors are really teaching those young kids,” Pittman said.

The team will return two key players in the coming weeks, but Pittman knows that the experience his budding young stars have established during their absence will prove invaluable.

“I knew after our first five (players), our bench was going to be the key,” Pittman said. “We’re really going to make some noise in the playoffs. We’re really going to go on a run here.”

The next test for the girls will come Friday night when area foe Carver visits Demopolis.

“It’s a big ball game. We really need that win,” Pittman said of the impending match-up with Carver. “It’s going to be a really good basketball game, a really hard basketball game and the team that makes the least amount of mistakes is going to win.”