Thursday, December 8, 2005

Hawks, Lady Indians take trophies
• Two straight Bi-County titles for Holly High boys

Sports Editor

Three schools - H.W. Byers, Byhalia and Holly Springs - remained in contention Saturday for titles in the Bi-County Tournament at Northwest Community College.


The first game of the afternoon on close out day for the Bi-County Tournament was a consolation contest between the Cardinals of Potts Camp and the Indians of Byhalia.

There was a high spirit in evidence from the very tip. Both teams attacked the basket from both ends, relentlessly.

It was pretty clear that the contest was going to be evenly played. The lead changed hands practically with each shot. It was a 13-13 knot when the first quarter ended.

The pace and scoring had slowed considerably with about three and a half minutes left in the first half, but the Cardinals had taken a six-point lead at 21-15. The Indians kept inching up in the scoring column until they were two points back at the half, 23-21.

When the teams took the floor to start the second half, it was apparent that this one was turning into a real barn burner. A controversy arose over the ball being used. It took the game officials a few minutes to sort things out.

The game was reaching a fever pitch just moments after play resumed. The lead was still changing constantly. In the heat of the moment, the Potts Camp bench drew a “tech.” The award gave the Indians a 34-31 lead after three.

The trading of baskets continued in the final quarter, with the Cardinals threatening with every possession. The Cardinals’ Terry Brown sank a pair of free throws to pull Potts Camp within two at 48-46. Byhalia added another point via the charity stripe.

The Cardinals called for time to set one last play but the three attempt to tie hit solid iron and the game ended on the 49-46 score.

Cordell Jefferson led the victors with 22 points. Demarius Moore was next with nine.

Cobye Davis fuelled the Cardinals’ attack with 17 points.

The Indians improved to 8-4, while the Cardinals shifted to 7-5.

Lady Indians-Lady Lions

The final round for the girls on night three of the tournament found two old combatants going at each other to see who would replace the reigning Ashland Lady Blue Devils as champions of the second annual Bi-County Tournament.

It was apparent that neither team, Byhalia or Byers, wanted to lose this one. They sparred with each other during the entire first quarter. It was slow going and low scoring. No team seemed to have the upper hand, although the Lady Lions were in control at 20-15 at the intermission.

The Lady Indians closed the gap in the third, outscoring the Lady Lions for the first time, 10 to 7. Byhalia’s Jalisa Bronson tied it at 23 with a trip to the foul line where she speared two. But Byers’ Simone Ryan came right back and untied it. The third expired with the Lady Lions still possessing a two-point lead at 27-25.

In the final frame, no matter what Byers did, they could not deliver the knockout punch to the Lady Indians. The Lady Lions suffered at the foul line, and Byhalia doing better at the same spot managed to erase the six-point deficit.

Chasidy Kizer scored nine points in the fourth quarter, including a three-pointer, plus four-of-four from the free-throw line.

“Chasidy (Kizer) came up big with the clutch free throws,” said Byhalia coach Summer Pannell. “I am very proud of all the girls.”

The Lady Indians claimed the 41-35 championship win.

Kizer led Byhalia (7-5) to the trophy with 14, aided by Brandy Fayne with 12. The Lady Lions (5-8) didn’t have any double figure shooters.

Hawks vs. Lions

The finals in the boys competition, like the girls, pitted two longstanding rivalries against each other. However, these teams both had state tournament experience.

Both teams are known for fast paced play.

And true to that premise, the Lions went straight at the Hawks, pushing the ball hard. The Hawks did the same with their possessions. The crowd was temporarily awed when the Lions struck first with a deuce by Demetrius Fitzpatrick and a trey by Terdarin Bryson.

But the 5-0 mark didn’t stand. Clevin Hannah buried two consecutive threes and Brandon Ayers hit another, but the Lions were at a respectable distance at 15-10 when the first quarter ended.

The kid gloves came off in the second and Hannah went to work. He sliced, diced and practically fricasseed the Lions. His treys and deuces pushed the Hawks out to a 41-16 half time lead. The Hawks stuck eight treys in each half.

Holly High held Byers to six points in the third frame and allowed them another six in the final.

The final score of 79-32 gave the Hawks their second consecutive title in the Bi-County. They improved to 10-0 on the year.

Hannah had 23 points with five treys included. Dennis Hampton had 12 (all threes) points, Jemorris Wilks had 16 (with four treys) and Ayers had nine.

Demetrius Fitzpatrick led the Lions (5-7) with eight.

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