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Derrck Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Douglas County coach Hollis Bethea says he has been pleased with the team's balance scoring during its 10-game winning streak.

DULUTH - Hollis Bethea sees where Douglas County has the making of a good team.

The Tigers coach says his team has been on a roller coaster but seems to come out of the winning end of the game.

Coming out of the Christmas break this week, the Tigers are on a 10-game winning streak.

Douglas County defeated Lincoln of Tallahassee, Fla., 55-51, to close out the 2017 portion of its schedule.

“There have been some ups and downs for us on the court,” Bethea said. “We are winning so that is a sign of a good team. We have not played our best yet, but we keep pulling these games off. During this time, I feel we have really grown as a team. We are definitely getting better.”

Overall, the Tigers are 11-2 and 5-1 in Region 5-AAAAAA heading into Friday’s contest against top-ranked Langston Hughes.

The winning streak has bolstered the team’s confidence.

“We have a lot of confidence but we are not content,” Tigers junior guard Malik Battle said. “We are really playing hard and we have gotten better on defense. I think it has been our defense that has shown the biggest improvement.”

The Tigers are averaging 77 points and have been getting some balance scoring during the winning streak. Battle has been the team’s leading scoring at 16.2 points per game with senior Cam Copeland coming off the bench and contributing 14.9 points.

Senior Rickey Clark is averaging 12.8 points while Rodney Lewis is averaging 8.5 points and junior Jeremy Smith is contributing eight points a contest.

Douglas County is almost at full strength as they await the return of junior post player Mataio Soli, who is still nursing a football injury.

“Whoever has the hot hand is the player that we are feeding,” Copeland said. “We are learning to play with each other and developing some good chemistry.”

Bethea has also been pleased with the contributions of juniors J.J. Richards and Marquise Collins. Both joined the Tigers are football season was completed.

Collins was the team’s starting quarterback as Richards was a top reserve at the position. Collins is averaging 6.8 points while Richards is contributing 2.4 points per game.

“They have been done a great job in giving us some minutes off the bench,” Bethea said. “I really like the leadership we are getting from our seniors and everybody seems to be contributing to the team. We just have to keep playing together and keeping improving in areas to get better.”

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