Demopolis boys win 55-51 over Chilton County

Published 11:25 pm Friday, January 16, 2009

Demopolis relied on a clutch debut effort from Dontrell Wheeler to hold off Chilton County for a 55-51 win Friday night.

DHS overcame an early deficit to knot the game at 22 in the second quarter before Anthony Hardy threw down a breakaway dunk to give the team the lead. Wheeler followed on the next possession with a key three-pointer that pushed the advantage to five points.

“Once he gets on the floor, he can knock them down,” head coach Jesse Bell said of Wheeler.

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Demopolis carried a 31-28 lead into the half. The home Tigers opened up in the third quarter before Chilton County clawed its way back into the game to cut the deficit to 44-40 by the end of the frame.

“They never quit,” CCHS head coach Donnie Hand said of his team. “They always play hard. Every area game we’re playing, we’re undersized. We know we’ve got to play hard.”

CCHS pulled to within one point before Wheeler made his presence felt again, this time striking for another trey that pushed the DHS lead to 47-43 with 5:25 to go in the game.

Both teams remained scoreless unless 2:15 to go when Wheeler flushed a transition dunk to give DHS a six-point advantage. Alphonso Johnson followed 20 seconds later with his own jam to stretch it to eight.

With less than two minutes to go, CCHS went to work again.

Kenyon Floyd hit a layup with 37 seconds on the clock to cut the lead to 54-47. With 27.7 to go, Chilton hit a free throw to make it 54-48 before Josh Williams stroked a three-pointer to leave Demopolis up only 54-51.

“We’ve got to work on putting people away,” Bell said.

Jeremy Wallace squelched the threat by coming up with a steal with only 8.8 seconds left on the clock and absorbing the ensuing foul with 5.4 remaining. Wallace went to the line and stroked the front end of a one-and-one to give DHS the 55-51 lead.

Vincent Olanrewaju led all scorers with 16 points for CCHS. Taylor Hughes and Floyd each added 10 for Chilton.

Wheeler put up 12 for Demopolis. Alphonso Johnson contributed 11.