Demopolis stumbles in final quarter of Area 7 final

TUSCALOOSA – For the third time this season, Demopolis found itself trading buckets with Central-Tuscaloosa only to watch its hopes dissipate in the game’s final quarter. Thursday night’s Class 5A, Area 7 championship game featured three quarters filled with lead changes and shot-for-shot action as Central pulled away late for a 62-52 victory.

Demopolis controlled the game for much of the second and third quarters, wresting away all of the momentum as it ballooned its lead to as much as seven. Leading by four with approximately two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Demopolis shifted from the high-paced offense that put the Falcons on their heels. The Tigers spaced the floor into a four corners set, looking to drain the clock. As the fourth quarter opened with a 45-41 Demopolis lead, the Tigers flashed the four corners look again.

The change in aggressiveness by the Tigers proved to be all the Falcons needed. Central embarked upon a 21-7 run to end the game as Demopolis sputtered down the stretch.

Demopolis held a statistical advantage in most major categories. The Tigers outrebounded Central 36-27. Demopolis was 14 of 24 from the free throw line while Central was 7 of 9. The Falcons kept themselves in the game with high volume shooting from deep. The Falcons connected on 12 three-pointers in the contest. Demopolis countered with four triples.

Deshiah Pruitt led all scorers with 18 points to go along with nine assists for Central. Lecedric Taylor had 13 points while Vincent Reeves scored 12 for the Falcons. Jason Robinson had 11 points.

Melvin Childers paced the Tigers with 15 points and seven rebounds. Shakari Williams scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Nelson Haskin had 11 points, nine rebounds and nine blocks. Bubba Spencer had nine points and six rebounds.

Demopolis will travel to Class 5A, Area 8 winner Sylacauga Tuesday as elimination play begins in the sub-regional round.