Demopolis wasted little time seizing control Thursday night in a 66-32 win over Choctaw County. Demopolis saw 13 players log minutes with 12 of them scoring in a fast-paced contest that featured high energy on and off the court.
“That’s exactly what I wanted to address when I first got here,” Demopolis coach Ashley Allen said, pointing to how engaged his starters were when not on the floor Thursday. “Team camaraderie was something big. We had to get the team chemistry, be live on the bench. That takes a team a long way.”
Demopolis trailed for less than 15 seconds, falling behind 7-6 on a Choctaw 3-pointer early in the first quarter. Demopolis quickly shifted gears and held a 17-12 lead through one quarter of play. Allen’s team then ratcheted up the defensive intensity, holding Choctaw County to single digits in each of the game’s remaining three quarters while tallying a total of 16 steals.
Offensively, Demopolis committed to running its sets with both its starting and reserve units.
“That was the whole point, to try to get them in there, get them some playing time, get them some experience on the court because we’re going to need them,” Allen said of the concerted effort to get significant minutes for his reserve units. “We need depth. We’ve got to have some depth. I knew this was a perfect opportunity to get them in the game, execute some stuff and get our starters some playing time, but also try to rest them a little bit.”
The offensive showcase featured a team total of 22 assists highlighted by the Melvin Childers’s five dimes.
“That’s usually him. I want him to be more of an assist factor because he’s such a good slasher,” Allen said of Childers. “He drives to the basket well. When he draws attention, instead of forcing a lot of that and getting charges, he needs to learn how to dish it off a little bit. That’s big for us. He’s a junior. We’ve got him another year. We’re building that for the future.”
Shakari Williams paced the Tigers with 16 points and six rebounds to go along with two blocked shots and two steals. Taylor Herelle added 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Dashawn Patterson finished with seven points while Tony Pittman Jr. had six. Keshawn Johnson tied for a team high with six rebounds. Nelson Haskin shined defensively in limited minutes with three blocks and three steals.
Demopolis (6-8) is set to host Sumter Central in an area contest Friday night.