Demopolis sputters in Area 7 final

An abysmal third quarter spelled doom for Demopolis Wednesday night at Central-Tuscaloosa picked up a 51-43 victory to claim the Class 5A, Area 7 girls championship.

“We rushed stuff all night. There was not continuity in what we were doing offensively and it kind of frustrated us. It showed on the defensive end as well,” Demopolis coach Tony Pittman said. “I’m very disappointed in our effort. Going into halftime we talked about the things that we need to do and it was no different than in the first half. We just had to come out and execute our offense and we didn’t do that tonight.”

The Lady Tigers struggled to an 11-7 deficit through the first quarter of play before briefly taking a 19-18 lead in the second period. Central held a 26-23 advantage at half but the Lady Tigers would never be so close again.

Demopolis struggled with foul trouble early as starters Sylvia Clayton and Shakesaney Bell had three fouls apiece by half and four each to start the fourth quarter.

“It stretches our team defensively as well as offensively,” Pittman said before turning his attention to the younger players that were called in for big minutes Thursday. “I expect those kids to come off the bench, play hard and execute on a high level. They did. We gave up some points on the back end on offensive rebounds but, hey, I’m proud of those kids coming off the bench.”

Demopolis managed five points from Darnesha Harris in the third quarter, the only scoring output for the team in the period. Meanwhile, Central sprinted to a 41-28 lead and proceeded to stretch the advantage in the fourth quarter.

Demopolis mounted a brief flurry and got within seven in the fourth quarter before Central stretched the lead back to double digits and cruised to the finish.

Demopolis (16-6) will travel Monday in sub-regional action against the winner of Calera and Marbury in the Class 5A, Area 6 final set for Thursday night. Central will face the runner-up from Area 6.

“The thing you do at this point now is go back to the drawing board and work on the things that you need to do going forward, get our mind ready to play Monday,” Pittman said. “We’ll do that.”

Aniya Johnson finished with 12 points. Harris had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Quintasia Leatherwood-Doss and Shunterius Stephens each scored 12 for Central. Antiyocka Howard had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Central. Lauryn Sutton finished with eight points. Those six players along with Sylvia Clayton of Demopolis made the All-Tournament team.