Lady Tigers advance to region final

Published 8:28 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2012

MOBILE — Despite an uninspired performance, Demopolis (24-7) downed LeFlore 37-27 Wednesday to move to the finals of the Class 5A Girls South Region Tournament.

“We didn’t settle down and play basketball like we are capable of playing,” Demopolis head coach Tony Pittman said. “I don’t know whether it was the new environment or whatever.”

LeFlore’s Jabrae Sanders scored the opening bucket of the contest with 3:24 to play in the first quarter.

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Tee Perkins, Damekeia Marshall and Jonniece Collins each responded with a pair of points to send Demopolis to the second frame with a 6-2 lead.

Perkins and Catrina Benison shouldered the load in the second quarter for DHS, accounting for all nine Lady Tiger points in the frame to carry a 15-6 lead into the half.

Perkins opened the third with a pair of field goals to push the score to 19-8 before Benison added a free throw to make it 20-8.

Kenadria Evans pushed the Rattlers closer on multiple occasions, getting her squad to within seven with only 2:18 to go on the clock.

“We looked very much out of sync offensively,” Pittman said of the shooting woes that plagued his team all night.

With his team up 32-25, Pittman called a timeout and reset the pace. Off the ensuing inbound pass, Alexis Jones scored from the left block to push the lead back to nine with 1:50 to play.

Collins added a pair of free throws 38 seconds later to push the advantage back to 11.

After Sanders scored with a minute to go, Pittman called another timeout. Fresh out of that conversation, Collins put on a ball handling clinic that ran the clock down to 22.1 seconds before Benison absorbed a foul and proceeded to knock down another free throw to cap the scoring.

Perkins finished with 11 points while Collins and Benison had 10 each. Evans led LeFlore with 10 points.

LeFlore out shot Demopolis, hitting 39.3 percent of t heir shots as compared to 36.4 percent for DHS. The Rattlers also grabbed 23 rebounds, five more than the Lady Tigers’ 18.

The difference for the Lady Tigers came in turnovers and at the free throw line. Demopolis turned the ball over 14 times while LeFlore had 21 donations.

At the charity stripe, Demopolis went 12-for-16 while LeFlore shot only 62.5 percent.

The win sends the Lady Tigers to the region final Saturday at 5 p.m. where they will meet Faith Academy (29-0), which ended Selma’s season earlier in the day.

“They are a very solid basketball team all the way around,” Pittman said. “We’re going to have to bring our A game to beat them.”