Valley dominates Demopolis to advance to regional final

Published 8:25 pm Monday, February 20, 2023

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The Valley Rams traveled to Bill Harris Arena in Birmingham to take on the Demopolis Tigers, and the Tigers walked away with their tails between their legs as Valley won 72-44 in the regional semifinal on Monday.

The scoring was spread out for the undefeated Rams (30-0) as their entire starting five each had more than 10 points.

Cam Dooley was the leading scorer with 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

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Jamarious Martin was the second leading scorer with 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and a steal.

Demopolis’ leading scorer was Dalyn Jackson with 14 points.

Valley head coach Marshon Harper was thrilled with the big win.

“Hats off to the kids,” Harper said.

“We’ve been preparing for this since last year. The kids bought in. I’m the nervous one. They aren’t. They go out and execute and play great defense every night. I can’t ask for anything better.”

Anyone who watched the first quarter probably thought the undefeated Rams might be in trouble. 

Demopolis set early traps and made the Rams work for every basket.

Valley’s defense locked down toward the end of the first quarter, and Brandon Thomas hit a short jumper to give the Rams a 19-13 lead heading into the second quarter.

The Rams started to pull away in the second quarter as Demopolis couldn’t buy a basket.

Valley held the Tigers to only three second quarter points, and the trend continued for the rest of the game as the Rams took a 33-16 lead at halftime.

For stars like Dooley and Martin, the moment wasn’t too big.

“The atmosphere was great,” Martin said.

“We had our fans come all the way from Valley to Birmingham. They got us hyped. That’s what we’re used to.”

Dooley also praised the fans.

“I feel like our fans brought the intensity,” Dooley said.

“I feel like we played well, and the crowd cheered us on every step of the way.”

Harper was pleased to have so many players contribute.

“That’s what we do,” Harper said.

“We don’t have people score 20 or 30 points, but we have guys who are capable of it. We had five people in double figures. That’s hard to beat.”

Demopolis coach Norvie Womack gave credit to Valley. 

“Their length really bothered us,” Womack said.

“They were the most athletic team we’ve played. Me and their coach went to West Alabama together. They executed the game plan better than us tonight. They’ll beat just about anybody.”

Valley’s defense was the star of the show as the Rams held Demopolis to 30% shooting and 19% from the three point line.

The Rams shot an impressive 43.8% from beyond the arc, and the Tigers couldn’t make any stops in the second half.

Valley is now 30-0 and will prepare for Central of Clay County on Thursday.

“They run some good sets,” Harper said.

“They shoot the ball well. They played with heart today. They were down 16 today and came back and won the game. We’ll study them like we study everybody else. It’s win or go home. They’ll have to stop us too.”