Douglas County traveled to Powder Springs Wednesday evening to take on the Hillgrove Hawks. The girls opened with a 61-45 loss. The boys answered by leading from start to finish in a 76-63 victory.
In the boys game, DC jumped out to an 18-1 advantage in the first period. Hillgrove fought back by hitting a couple of three pointers but at the end of the opening frame, the Tigers still led by 10, 23-13. The Tigers widened their lead early in the second period but the Hawks continued to come back to keep the game around a 10 point margin heading into the second half.
After the break, DC went up by 15 but three straight 3-pointers by Hillgrove made it a six point game. The Hawks would get no closer as the Tigers closed out the game strong.
“Once we made adjustments we put a quick stop to their comeback,” said DC coach Hollis Bethea. “This is a team that knocked us out of the tournament at the last second and this win felt like getting that loss off our chest. It finally gave us closure.”
For the second game in a row, Kalen Clifton led DC in scoring. He netted 18 points and added seven rebounds. Brandon Robinson followed with 16 points, eight steals and five rebounds.
“Kalen did a little of everything tonight. He did a good job with some inside scoring and got a lot of transition points. He played outstanding defense,” Bethea said. “Brandon is now over his stomach virus and did a good job taking shots. His defense on the ball was good and he rebounded well. He also did a little of everything.
K’Ja Johnson had 11 assists and kept Hillgrove’s leading scorer, Collin Sexton, to under 10 points. D’Ondre Glenn, fresh off the football field, scored eight points and added five blocked shots.
“K’Ja played very well and provided a lot of defense,” Bethea said. “D’Ondre did a good job giving us some inside scoring.”
Bethea was happy with the changes he saw from the Chapel Hill game to the Hillgrove game.
“We showed some improvement especially in rebounding,” Bethea said. “We were able to get in transition faster and defended well as a team. We also had quite a few block, played well together as a team, and shared the ball.”
In the girls game, DC was out of it early as the team struggled to find focus. The Lady Tigers trailed 15-7 after the first period, 35-19 at the half, and 53-30 after three periods of play.
“We did not play well at all and I am not sure how much effect it had with me being out sick and missing practice the day before,” said DC girls coach Chet Forsh. “My coaches told me that they did not practice well and is showed. We were not mentally prepared.”
Amira Atwater led the Lady Tigers with 10 points. Arsula Clark followed with nine.
Douglas County will be back in action today when they host Lithia Springs. The girls start at 6 p.m. and the boys will follow around 7:30 p.m.