‘Cat’ fight at Lady Tigers game

Published 8:00 am Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Demopolis Lady Tigers dropped Chilton County 53-15 Friday night in a game that saw the teams combine for five ejections for following a first-half on-court altercation.

With Demopolis up big in the first half and the visiting Lady Tigers playing without six of their regulars due to injuries, Chilton County’s Sierra Hines reportedly ignited a verbal dispute with Demopolis’ Megan Smith. Onlookers said that Hines punched Smith, a Demopolis sophomore guard, in the back of the head as she attempted to walk away.

“I think a lot of it was frustration,” DHS head coach Tony Pittman said. “We were really pressuring them and causing turnovers.”

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Smith porceeded to defend herself and three Demopolis players left the bench in the fray. Smith and Hines were ejected as were Demopolis’ Ciera Howard, Kiera Carter and Shadijiah Moore who each came onto the floor in the fracas.

“They didn’t throw punches,” Pittman said of the girls who left the bench. “I really felt like they were going to protect their teammate.”

Even so, Pittman understands that his team likely will be ravaged by suspensions as it heads into the stretch run.

“As of right now, we don’t know (how long the girls will be suspended),” Pittman said. “We know what the rule says, but we have to wait to see what is handed down by the state. I know the maximum is going to be a period of four ball games.”

After the game, both coaches expressed remorse for their team’s involvement in the situation.

“Both teams are better than that,” CCHS coach Deon Timmons said. “We hated that it happened. It was a little bit of frustration. Our girls know how to act and how to conduct themselves. That was a little out of character for her. We’re upset about it and torn up about it.”

“It’s an unfortunate situation. I’m very disappointed in that we got caught up in it,” Pittman, who stressed that his staff harps on discipline, said. “I hate to see fighting amongst anybody, but I really try to teach our ladies to be ladies.”

Demopolis played the second half with only six players, a disadvantage it may face for the foreseeable future following the impending suspensions. DHS will face its first challenge Saturday on the road against Sumter County.

“The character of these young girls has been proven all year long, and they will go over there and play hard,” Pittman said. “This, too, shall pass.”

Demekia Marshall led Demopolis with 16 in the game, while Catrina Benison added nine. Renee Lewis led the way for Chilton County with eight points.