Demopolis relied heavily on its defense in an oddly uneven 47-17 win over Greene County Friday night. The Lady Tigers ended the first quarter with a 22-8 lead following an 11-0 run before failing to score a single point in the second quarter. Despite the futility, Demopolis led 22-16 at half.
“It was a tale of two halves. We came out in the fourth quarter, we were knocking some shots down. We had great energy. Second quarter it was almost like, ‘Where did that team go?’ We started turning the ball over. We were not focused to the point where I had to pull the starters and use the reserves,” Demopolis coach Tony Pittman said. “And even though we didn’t score a lot of points, they held the rope defensively. That’s what you want to see. That move was to wake up the starters and also to give my ladies an opportunity to play that came off the bench.”
The Lady Tigers rediscovered their intensity in the second half as they proceeded to frustrate Greene County into turnovers and ill-advised shot attempts. Demopolis played the role of ungracious host, outscoring Greene County 26-1 over the game’s final 16 minutes.
“That’s good because in the area tournament, you never know how things are going to happen,” Pittman said of the defensive effort he got from his starters and bench alike. “Teams are going to throw different stuff at you. You’ve got to be able to adjust on the fly and your players have got to be able to adjust on the fly. Every opportunity they get to get in and get comfortable is just going to be big for us heading into the area tournament.”
Aniya Johnson led Demopolis with 13 points, five assists and three steals. Shakesaney Bell added 10 points. Sylvia Clayton and Darnesha Harris scored seven apiece. Jhia’Nesha Edwards led Greene County with seven points and seven rebounds.
Demopolis (16-5) will get a respite after having played nine games in the last 17 days. The Lady Tigers are not set to take the court again until Wednesday in the finals of the Class 5A, Area 7 tournament.
“It’s going to help physically, but I want us to still stay sharp mentally,” Pittman said of the coming break. “We’ll come in maybe Sunday or Monday and do a little board work and just refresh ourselves with what we need to do in certain situations, situational stuff. I think we’re really progressing heading into the area tournament and we’ve got to keep that motivation going in.”