DHS Lady Tigers open Monday

Caleb Washington, a 6-2 junior, returns as the most experienced player on the Lady Tiger roster for the 2013-2014 season.

Caleb Washington, a 6-2 junior, returns as the most experienced player on the Lady Tiger roster for the 2013-2014 season.

The Demopolis High Lady Tiger basketball team will take to the floor for the first time this season Monday when they travel to Holy Spirit for a Thanksgiving tournament.

The Lady Tigers will open their season against tournament host Holy Spirit.

“I don’t know very much about them, but right now it is about what we’re capable of doing, what we’re capable of bringing to the floor each and every night,” Demopolis coach Tony Pittman said. “I’m excited. It’s the first game. I’m expecting some things to go wrong, but I’m just very interested to see how (our players) adjust.”

Pittman, in his 18th year at the helm of the Lady Tiger program, is still in the process of learning about his youthful roster that features no seniors and only two juniors among its nine players.

“We had some veteran players last year,” Pittman said of a senior-laden group that went 17-7 a season ago. “This year’s group is going to be young, but you’ve got a fun bunch full of energy. It’s going to be a bunch that, once all the pieces come together, you’re going to really enjoy watching.”

The leading returners from a season ago include 6-2 junior center Caleb Washington and the sophomore wing tandem of Ivery Moore and Dee Dee White.

“They’ve worked extremely hard in the weight room and matured a lot over the summer,” Pittman said of the trio. “I think that is going to be a big plus for us. I think for DeeDee and Ivery, a year under their belt was a big plus for them. Now they’re at a different level when it comes to basketball.”

The other six players on the roster consist of five underclassmen and a junior that never suited up for the 2013-2014 team.

“We’ve got a lot of newcomers that are going to be looked upon to contribute instantly. They are a very different style of basketball,” Pittman said of his team’s newcomers.

Girls Tourney-6141Most prominent among the Lady Tigers’ new faces are the backcourt team of freshman point guard Sylvia Clayton and sophomore transfer combo guard Erica Bennett.

“Sylvia Clayton is going to play the point guard position for us. Even though she is a freshman, she is going to be looked upon to get us into our offense,” Pittman said. “Erica Bennett, a newcomer also, is playing the two for us. She gives us a lot of versatility. She can play the point as well as the two. She is capable of shooting the basketball. She just brings a different style to the game that we’ll enjoy seeing.”

The Lady Tiger bench will feature Julia Rembert, Darnesha Harris, Randeja Warren and Equashia Fikes.

“Darnesha Harris is a freshman who is going to play the forward for us. She is going to bring some very big time off the bench for us. She has the capability of playing the four or the five,” Pittman said. “Equashia Fikes, who is a junior, missed last year but she is back. She has gotten stronger and a little more maturity. She is going to do well for us. Right now we have nine basketball players and we are expecting all nine to play and contribute.”

While his team is young and largely unproven, Pittman has maintained his traditional expectations for the group.

“Being 18 years of coaching, my expectations don’t change from year to year. I expect us to do well,” Pittman said. “I expect us to be there in February in the thick of things and I expect us to win every ball game and it is not going to change. We are accustomed to winning here and that is what we expect each and every night.”

The Lady Tigers will open with Holy Spirit Monday in a tournament that also includes American Christian Academy and Corner.