The DeKalb County High School Tiger basketball team had to fight off a ferocious York Institute rally, Friday night in Smithville, but managed to escape with a 59-51 victory over the still-winless Dragons. The Tigers let a 17-point halftime lead dwindle all the way down to two points in the final period, before fighting back for the win.
York raced out to a 7-2 lead over the DC boys, but the Tigers battled back for an 8-7 lead at the end of the opneing period. The Dragons held their final lead of the contest early in the second, as they went up, 9-8. Payne Denman hit a three-pointer to put DeKalb up, 11-9, and the Tigers never trailed again. DeKalb County led 31-14 at the half.
The Dragons whittled the lead to ten points, at 41-31, with 33 seconds left in the third period, but the Tigers carried a 43-31 lead into the final period. York, however, continued to claw, and managed to pull within two, at 50-48, with just 1:45 left in regulation. Free throws made the difference down the stretch for the Tigers, as Denman hit six key foul shots in a row, and the Tigers, as a team, was 11-of-13 from the charity stripe in the fourth period. York out-scored DC, 20-16, in the fourth, but the TIgers pulled away in the closing seconds for the win.
Denman led the Tigers with 15 points, while J.J. Herriott added 11. Tyrell Asberry and Dakota Jones each scored 17 points to lead the Dragons. The DeKalb boys improved to 5-3 overall and to 1-1 in district play, while York dropped to 0-7 overall, and to 0-3 in the district.
Meanwhile, the DeKalb County Lady Tigers lost their third straight game, as they dropped a 42-27 decision in the first game of the night. The Lady Dragons scored the first 14 points of the game, and led 17-2 at the end of the first period. The lead reached 20-2 in the early moments of the second, and York held a 25-8 advantage at the half.
Coach Mike Shockley substituted his second string unit for most of the second half, and they held their own the rest of the way. The Lady Dragons out-scored the DC girls 11-8 in the third, but the Lady Tigers claimed an 11-6 advantage in the fourth period.
Freshman point guard Alex Meadows came off the bench to lead the Lady Tigers with seven points, while Martha Webb added six. Molly Eacret led York Institute with 11 points. The Lady Tigers dropped to 3-5 overall and to 0-2 in the district, while York improved to 7-1 overall, and to 2-1 in district play.
DeKalb County is scheduled to play at Watertown, Saturday night, at 6:00 p.m.