Lady Saints beat Demopolis, going to area finals

Published 12:57 am Saturday, February 9, 2013

By Matt Cole

The Demopolis Times


YORK — The Demopolis Lady Tigers opened the area tournament on Thursday night against the Selma Lady Saints, and came up short, 34-30. The loss ends the Lady Tigers’ season with a record of 17-7 overall.

Head coach Tony Pittman said he was proud of the way his team played Thursday night, as well as all season long.

“My hat’s off to the young players on this team,” Pittman said. “For them to come into a game like this and play as well as they did, that says a lot. I’m very proud of the seniors on the team, too. They played with a lot of freshmen this year, and to have a successful season like we did, it says a lot about their leadership.”

Anthony Harris, head coach of the Lady Saints (20-10), said his team fought hard against a tough opponent.

“We had played them two times. First one was overtime and we got by one, then we came home and had a good night on them when they came to our place. It’s hard to beat a team three times in a season,” Harris said. “We knew our backs were against the wall with it being the first game in the area tournament. You lose, you go home.”

Demopolis jumped out to an early 6-2 lead on the Saints, but Selma closed the quarter on a 10-1 run to give them a 12-7 lead after the first. Shartisha Tripp had all seven points for Demopolis in the quarter.

In the second quarter, Selma scored early, but Demopolis closed the quarter on an 8-1 run, closing the gap to one point. The Lady Tigers trailed 16-15 at halftime.

The third quarter didn’t see much more scoring than the other quarters, and Selma took a 23-20 lead into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter was the highest scoring quarter for Demopolis, but it still wasn’t enough. The Lady Tigers fought to stay in the game, but they could not close the gap in crunch time.

Free throws were the story of the night for Demopolis, as they only went 9-for-25 at the charity stripe.

“You can’t go to the line and not come away with something,” Pittman said.

Harris said the Lady Saints hit some key shots and got some key calls down the stretch.

“With about 8.6 seconds on the clock, we were up three … and Ayana Moore went to the free throw line. She nailed one and missed one. That assured us the game right there,” Harris said. “It went as I expected. They wanted revenge on us and we didn’t want them to get revenge on us. The girls stepped up. Both teams did a good job on controlling it.”

Jonniece Collins led Demopolis with 9 points, Tripp had 8 points, Alexis Jones had 4 points and Martina Smith had 3 points for the Lady Tigers.

Takeesha Wilson led the Lady Saints with 18 points, while Moore had 7 points, and Kendra McCovery had 4.

The Lady Saints will play host Sumter Central on Monday in the Class 5A Area 6 championship game at 6 p.m.