Wolverines spoil Tigers’ season opener

Published 10:37 pm Friday, December 11, 2009

Demopolis opened its basketball season with a 52-44 loss to Class 5A, Region 3 foe Carver Friday. The Tigers started the game with 6-0 run before poor shot selection and charity stripe struggles set in, allowing the Wolverines to take a 26-22 advantage into the locker room.

“We haven’t had enough time to work on that,” Demopolis head coach Jesse Bell said of his team’s shooting woes, which came at the tail end of the squad’s first week of practice following last Thursday’s football state championship win. “We’ll come around.

The Tigers shot a paltry 2-for-10 from the free throw line in the first half, accounting for their intermission deficit. Conversely, Carver hit 10 of its 17 foul shots in the game’s first two periods.

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Demopolis emerged from the locker room with renewed focus, launching a run of its own before the Wolverines’ length and athleticism took over. The Tigers pulled close again in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to five with just over three minutes to go before turnovers fed Carver’s transition game and saw the Wolverines pull away late.

“Some kids won’t let the game come to them,” Bell said. “We got a little rushed right there. We weren’t patient.”

Jeremy Wallace led Demopolis with 13 points while Alphonso Johnson added 9.

“We’ll have a balanced attack,” Bell said. “Once we get the floor balanced, we’re going to be okay.”

Raquez Johnson led the Wolverines’ effort, scoring 13 points — eight of which came off a quartet of dunks — and grabbing 15 rebounds. Craig Sword added 13 points and six blocks while Antonio Pitts finished with 11 points.

Demopolis returns to action next Friday night when it travels to Chilton County.