Demopolis overcomes 13-point deficit to beat Linden in overtime

1-27-2016 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Melvin Childers hits a jumper during the Tigers’ game against the Linden Patriots. Childers finished with 14 points and eight rebounds in the overtime win.

Demopolis scored 51 points after intermission Friday to erase a 13-point deficit and beat Linden 77-67 in overtime.

“What I feel was key was making sure we execute. We went back into the locker room. It was the same thing that has been going on with us for the past two or three games,” Demopolis coach Ashley Allen said. “We lose our composure. We get down by a few points and we go to jacking shots. If we stay with the offensive plan and execute what we’re supposed to do, it’s easy.”

The Tigers trailed Linden 46-33 late in the third quarter before embarking on a seemingly improbable run to get themselves back into the game as the frame ended. Demopolis adjusted its defensive approach to ignite the effort and slow what had been an overbearing Linden attack.

“I saw something around the end of the third quarter toward the beginning of the fourth quarter. I could tell the guards were tired. He didn’t really rotate guards. And I know they only have two people. I went on a Box-and-1 on (Isaiah Scott),” Allen said. “Also, I put a fire press, which is a diamond pass where we started trapping first pass. We got a lot of turnovers that gave us some momentum.

Nelson Haskin went up high for a steal and fed Shakari Williams for an easy layup to cut the deficit to single digits for the first time since the opening moments of the third quarter. Darius Birl hit two free throws with 7.6 seconds left in the frame to make it 46-40. He then stole the ball and missed the ensuing shot before Malik Moore tipped in the put-back attempt at the horn to cut it to 46-42.

1-27-2016 — Demopolis, Ala. — Linden’s Isaiah Scott goes up for a shot in the lane during the Patriots’ game against the Demopolis Tigers. Scott scored 21 points in the contest.

Linden opened the lead back to five on a C.J. Robinson bucket before Moore fed Shakari Williams who hammered in the dunk with 3:06 to play in regulation, cutting the deficit to 59-56.

“Shakari got the big dunk and I knew we were flowing from then,” Allen said.

Williams later dished off to Melvin Childers, who powered it in from the left block to cut it to 59-58. With 57 seconds to play, Williams pulled up from the right wing to convert a Birl pass into a three-pointer to tie the game at 63.

““I wish somebody else would tell him the same thing because I’ve been preaching it since I met him,” Allen said of the notion that the Tigers feed off of Williams’s offensive performance. “I feel like he’s a mismatch for almost everybody. The offensive set that we have, it causes mismatches. If he would execute it along with the rest of the team, it’s easy.”

It appeared easy for the Tigers in the overtime as Childers, Haskin and Birl scored two points apiece to compliment the eight points poured in by Williams.

The flurry followed a slow start for the Tigers, who trailed 23-13 after one quarter of play before sagging in the first half of the third frame.

“I’m not sure. I charge it to being mentally tired. We’ve had six games in the past two weeks. All of them were close. Overtime the last two on back-to-back days. They are high school kids. I think we just, mentally, were worn out,” Allen said. “We had to adjust. Our team is young. We are 11th graders, but only two of them have varsity experience. So they have to learn to acclimate quick and really adapt to what they’re doing. It takes them a while. Usually at halftime when I can talk to them, they’ll get it and we’ll come out and play a little different.”

1-27-2016 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Nelson Haskin protects the ball while looking to pass during the Tigers’ game against the Linden Patriots.

The game came less than 24 hours after the Tigers suffered an emotional 67-66 loss to Selma when the Saints connected on a free throw with no time remaining in overtime.

“This whole week, our motto has been ‘Revenge Week’. Selma beat us. Linden beat us. Keith beat us,” Allen said. “We got Keith. We took a tough one (against Selma). I told them it still could be revenge week. We still could get two out of three. Yesterday was out of our hands. We should’ve made free throws. But tonight, I think that erased what happened last night.”

Williams led the Tigers with 35 points and 10 rebounds. Childers added 15 points for the Tigers. Birl added nine points. Taylor Herelle had eight while Haskin contributed eight points, nine rebounds, seven blocks and three steals.

Scott paced Linden with 21 points and nine rebounds. Dequan Charleston had 18 points, five rebounds and five assists. C.J. Robinson finished with eight points and seven rebounds. Deantre Johnson added 12 points and eight rebounds.

Demopolis (8-10) is set to travel to Central-Tuscaloosa Monday night. Linden (13-9) hosts Greensboro Saturday.

1-27-2016 — Demopolis, Ala. — Linden’s Dequan Charleston goes up for a shot during the Patriots’ game against the Demopolis Tigers.