Tigers thump Essex in home opening win

After suffering a tough overtime loss Tuesday, Demopolis (1-1) got into the win column Thursday with a 56-30 dispatching of U.S. Highway 80 rival John Essex (1-2).

In the game’s early going, the Tigers showed many of the shooting woes that plagued them against Bibb County Tuesday as they limped to an 8-3 lead after the first quarter.

The Tigers’ complemented their shooting difficulties with a stifling defense that held Essex to 1-of-10 from the floor in the game’s opening period.

“We’re focusing more on defense. We’re just working and working. Offensively we’ve got to execute better,” Demopolis coach Rodney Jackson said. “I didn’t think we executed as well tonight, but I did think we played hard.”

The teams battled to a nearly even tilt in the second quarter as Demopolis outpaced Essex 13-11 in the frame before finding its stroke in the game’s final 16 minutes.

The Tigers hung 15 points on the board in the third quarter and 20 more in the fourth to put the game well out of reach for Essex, whose starting backcourt combination of Michael Moore and Cedric Cooks spent much of the contest’s last period stuck on the bench after fouling out.

Tommy Wilson led the way for Demopolis with 15 points, including a 7-of-8 shooting night from the free throw line.

All nine Demopolis players scored from the floor in the game. Wilson’s charity stripe efforts anchored a 14-of-22 free throw shooting night for Demopolis.

Roderick Davis added 10 points for the Tigers. Rashad Lynch finished with eight while Kiante’ Jefferies had seven.

Moore paced the Hornets with 10 points while Josh Moore finished with eight points and 12 rebounds.

In his first varsity game, Charles Tripp headed up the Demopolis rebounding effort with seven boards to go along with two blocks.

“Every kid that’s on my roster has a job to do. I talk to them about it all the time. We brought Charles up because we thought he would add a big presence in the middle. And I thought he did,” Jackson said. “Once he gets his confidence, he’s going to be a real good player for us. He’s just a sophomore, but he’s going to be a real good player. There’s no doubt.”

Demopolis plays again Friday night when it travels to A.L. Johnson.