Lady Tigers press to Area 6 championship with rout of DCHS

20160208 DHS girls vs Dallas County basketball-9782

2-8-2016 – Demopolis, Ala. – DeeDee White drives for a first quarter bucket against Dallas County.

Demopolis (21-3) wasted little time taking control in the first round of the Class 5A, Area 6 tournament Monday as it dispatched of No. 4 seed Dallas County 53-22.

The top-seeded Lady Tigers held a 20-9 lead through the game’s first eight minutes and stretch the advantage to 34-16 by halftime.

The hot start was key for Demopolis as it looked to avoid the kind of upset that No. 2 seed Sumter Central suffered in a 51-36 loss to Wilcox Central just minutes earlier.

“Look at what happened in the previous game. When you don’t come out and play your ‘A’ game, anything can happen,” Demopolis coach Tony Pittman said. “Our focus was to not come out and play at their level. We wanted to come out and play at a high level and do the things that we’re capable of doing.”

The third quarter proved pivotal for Demopolis, which used its press to run away from Dallas County with a 17-2 stretch to put the game away.

The comfortable cushion was enough for Pittman to be able to experiment with his lineups as he employed younger players whose numbers will be called more often if the Lady Tigers are to make a significant playoff run.

“That’s big going further into the playoffs. It gives them an opportunity to get in and get some playing time, even with the veterans,” Pittman said. “I mixed them in and got them an opportunity with those veteran kids so we can establish a level of play and a tempo that we can play at and be successful.”

Courtney Hill paced Demopolis with 15 points while Erica Bennett added 11. Darnesha Harris and Ivery Moore added eight apiece for the Lady Tigers.

Jaliah Blakes scored nine to lead Dallas County.

The Lady Tigers are set to host the championship game against Wilcox Central Wednesday at 6 p.m.

“They’re going to bring a great point guard who is going to be heads up and be able to see through your defense. You’ve got to be ready to close those gaps and make them shoot the ball from the outside to be successful,” Pittman said of the challenge that awaits his squad Wednesday evening. “The thing that I preach each and every day in practice is to play our style of basketball and we’ll be fine.”