It took the DeKalb County Tiger basketball team until the third period to finally shake free from the Monterey Wildcats, Friday night in Smithville. The Tigers extended a five-point halftime lead to 26, after three, as they posted a 25-4 third period advantage. The end result was a 77-47 win, which evened the Tiger record at 9-9 for the season.
The game appeared to be a blowout in the first period, as DeKalb County raced out to a 16-5 lead, but the Wildcats narrowed the gap to 18-12 by the end of the period. Monterey fell behind by eight points in the second, but tied the game at 22-22, with 3:17 left in the half. The Tigers managed to pull out front, 32-27, at halftime.
A 15-2 run pushed the DeKalb lead to 47-29 in the opening moments of the second half, and the Tigers would possess a 57-31 advantage by the end of the third. Each player on the active Tiger roster got into the game by the final moments of the fourth period, as the DC boys rolled to the 30-point win.
Payne Denman led a balanced Tiger attack with 14 points, followed by Zack Rowland, Travis Woodward and J.J. Herriott with eight points apiece. Michael Buckner led Monterey with 15 points.
In the girls' game, the Lady Tigers never led and scored only 17 points through the first three periods, but the DC girls tried to make a game of it in the final period. DeKalb scored 22 points in the fourth, but Monterey hit 10-of-14 free throws in the fourth to pull away for a 52-37 victory.
The Lady Tigers made only three field goals in the first half, and scored six points in each the first and second periods. Monterey, meanwhile, posted 11 points in the first and 12 more in the second, as the visitors opened up a 23-12 halftime lead. DeKalb did not convert a field goal until the final 39 seconds of the third period, and by that time, the Lady Wildcats had a 32-14 lead. Monterey led 36-17 at the end of the third.
DeKalb County more than doubled their first three period point output in the fourth, and made almost twice as many field goals. Monterey went up by as many as 20 points, early in the fourth period, but the Lady Tigers pulled to within 11 in the period's closing moments before losing by 15.
Victoria Bennett scored nine points in the fourth period, and led DeKalb County with 12. Katie Herman and Morgan Page added seven points apiece. Molly Heady led the Lady Wildcats with 15 points.
The Lady Tigers drop to 4-13 overall on the season.
DeKalb County will play at Upperman, Tuesday night. Tip-off time is set for 6:00 p.m. and WJLE plans live coverage.