Bittersweet victory

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 6, 2007

Dallas County barely survives meeting against Demopolis

By George L. Jones

The Selma Times-Journal

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PLANTERSVILLE – Things didn’t go exactly as planned for Dallas County Friday night.

The Hornets have been rolling lately, fresh off a second-place finish in a 16-team tournament in Boaz.

They came in into their tilt against Demopolis as the No. 5 team in 5A.

Apparently, someone forgot to tell the Tigers that opponents aren’t allowed to crash the party at the Hornets’ nest.

DCHS (10-2) bounced back after blowing a large first-quarter lead and barely held on for a 62-61 win.

Looking like they might decide the game by the end of the first half, the Hornets found themselves battling Demopolis shot-for-shot from the middle of the second quarter onward.

DCHS coach Willie Moore seemed more upset over the way the game was played than he was happy over the win.

“Demopolis came back and played real good on offense, and we didn’t play well,” Moore said. “We stunk it up. We saw that the rankings came out, and we didn’t show up. I’m very disappointed with the effort.

“The kids have to know you’re supposed to win games at home.”

A Josh Spears dunk accentuated a 6-0 Hornets run that ended the first quarter with them leading 25-10.

The Tigers tore off on a 9-0 stretch to open the second, and then outscored DCHS 10-2 to tie the game at 29 with 1:07 left in the second.

McArthur Johnson gave Demopolis its first lead of the contest, 33-31, when he hit a layup as time expired in the half. Johnson stepped up again and hit a running jumper to put the Tigers ahead 43-41 going into the fourth.

The Hornets’ big man, forward Andrae Nelson, put the team on his back in the final frame. Nelson scored 13 of his game-high 20 points in the fourth, including a pair of perfect trips to the free throw line in the final two minutes.

Casey Cantey was the go-to player for Demopolis late in the game. He scored nine of his team-high 15 points in the fourth, including the game’s final two baskets.

However, down by one point with seven seconds left, the Tigers chose to play pressure defense instead of fouling.

The Hornets broke the press and let the clock run out for the win.

Thomas King added 12 points for DCHS.

Brian Taylor and Patrick Robertson both had 10 for Demopolis.