Demopolis comeback falls short

Demopolis (7-8, 0-1) overcame a 13-point hole in the fourth quarter to nearly knock off Sumter Central before falling 64-61 Friday night.

“I thought the guys played hard,” Demopolis coach Rodney Jackson said of his team’s comeback bid. “We focused more. We just went at them and attacked them. I have to get them to focus like that for four quarters.”

The Tigers trailed 51-38 after the third quarter but opened the half on a 11-3 run before Cortez Lewis fought his way through two Jaguar defenders to snag a tough rebound and then put the ball back up while drawing a foul to cut the game to 54-51 with only 4:01 to play. Lewis then knocked down the free throw to bring Demopolis to within two.

With 3:37 to go, Kiante Jefferies stole an errant Sumter Central pass and took it the distance himself for an easy lay-in off the glass to tie the game at 54.

After SCHS opened the lead back up to 60-56, Demopolis charged back again. Tyler Perkins pulled a three from the left corner that danced around the rim before rattling its way through the twine to cut the scored to 60-59 with only 1:06 to go in the contest.

With his team down three again, Tommy Wilson pulled the Tigers close when he dropped a pair of free throws to pull the deficit to 62-61 with only 38.7 to play.

Demopolis’ best chance to take its first lead since the game’s opening minutes came when Sumter Central turned the ball over with 33.8 seconds to play.

The Tigers proceeded to take time off the clock while looking for a shot opportunity before turning the ball over themselves with only 11.5 left.

A Donnell Childers layup on the other end put Sumter’s lead back at three before a desperation shot attempt from the Tigers missed its mark to end the game.

The Jaguars got all 64 of their points from their five starters with Fred Seals leading all scorers at 26. Dayvon Maye added 16 for the Jaguars while Jykwentin Johnson had 11.

Wilson paced Demopolis with 19 points including a quartet of three-point jumpers in the third quarter. Lewis finished with 14 points and nine rebounds while Perkins had 10 points and Jefferies had eight.

The Tigers play again Tuesday when they host Selma.