DHS rally falls short

Published 10:23 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Demopolis (4-10) put up a valiant effort late but ultimately could not overcome a long, athletic Francis Marion (11-4) team in a 84-72 loss Tuesday night.

The Tigers found themselves down 22-16 after the first quarter before Mike Scott fueled a comeback effort that saw the Tigers take a 28-26 lead with 3:48 to play in the second when the Demopolis point guard drained a three from the right side.

The advantage was short lived, however, as Francis Marion launched its own 7-0 run to go up 33-28.

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The Tigers quickly battled back to a 33-32 deficit before foul trouble allowed Marion to stretch its advantage back out to 40-33 before the half.

Demopolis came out of the locker room flat in the third quarter, haplessly allowing Francis Marion to embark on a 16-4 run to open the frame. The onslaught saw FMHS stretch its lead to 19 and seemingly deal a knockout blow to a listless Tiger team.

But Demopolis proceeded to pick itself back up off the deck, as it would do repeatedly throughout the evening. The Tigers launched a 12-2 run to close out the third quarter and head into the game’s final frame down 58-49.

Marion managed to open the fourth by again putting distance between itself and Demopolis, stretching the lead out to as many as 16 before the Tigers pulled themselves back into the game again.

Scott knocked down three-pointers on back-to-back possessions with less than two minutes to go in the game, cutting the Francis Marion advantage to 73-67.

Marion opened the lead back up to nine points again before Ashton Wilks knocked down a pair of free throws with 58.5 seconds to go to leave the Tigers down 76-69.

As the game’s final seconds played out, Francis Marion capitalized on a gassed Demopolis team to throw down a barrage of breakaway dunks, painting a much more dominant picture with the game’s final score than the contest played out over its 32 minutes.

Mike Scott led Demopolis with 22 points, including 12 off of a quartet of treys in the fourth quarter. Wilks added 17 for the Tigers while Terryl Ratliff had 11. Cortez Lewis finished with nine for DHS and Roderick Davis contributed eight.

The Tigers are scheduled to play again Friday night when they host rival Selma.