Cardiac Cats hold off Clarke County

Demopolis (9-10) watched a seven-point halftime lead disintegrate into an overtime struggle before pulling out a heart-racing 73-71 win Thursday night.

“We started missing a few shots here and there,” Demopolis head coach Rodney Jackson said of his team’s second half struggles. “Second half wasn’t that great, but also we had kids out of position defensively because we were in foul trouble.”

Clarke County inbounded the ball with only 2.9 seconds left in the overtime period. Despite Demopolis guard Tommy Wilson nearly pulling off a steal attempt, Jamal Harris picked up the loose ball off the floor and launched a three-point attempt that caromed off the iron as time expired, sealing the win for the Tigers.

The sequence came just seconds after Wilson converted on a layup to give the Tigers the lead. Harris’ heroics were on display throughout the evening as he scored a game high 35 points. The two biggest points of the night for CCHS came off the hands of Harris as he buried a pair of free throws with 31 seconds remaining in overtime to tie the game at 71.

Ganiel Alvarez got in on the act for Clarke County with 12.2 to play in regulation when he nailed a jumper to tie the game at 59 and ultimately force the extra period.

The Tigers stormed out of the gate in the overtime period, taking a 66-61 lead before the Bulldogs finally called a timeout. The stoppage and subsequent strategy session sparked a 9-3 run for Clarke County as the Bulldogs cut the deficit to 71-69 with only 41 seconds to play, setting up Harris game-tying opportunity.

For the Tigers, the win comes after back-to-back area losses that featured setbacks at Greenville and Sumter Central.

“It’s just big for our psyche. We get off a two-game skid, I’m just happy to get the win,” Jackson said. “My kids needed that. My kids played hard. They’re going to play hard. They get after it.”

Wilson led Demopolis with 21 points to go along with six rebounds. Kiante Jefferies added 10 points and four assists while Rashad Lynch scored 10 points, including a total of eight in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Demetrius Kemp had nine points and 11 rebounds for the Tigers. Cortez Lewis had an eight-rebound performance while Tyler Perkins had seven points to go along with his eight rebounds. D’metric Howell chipped in seven points on the night.

Alvarez scored 15 points for Clarke County to go along with Harris’ 35 while Eric Moore had 11.

Demopolis is scheduled to travel to Central-Tuscaloosa Saturday night.