Thursday, December 15, 2005

Kirkland earns 800th victory


Friday night’s trip to Baldwyn was special for H.W. Byers basketball teams – in more ways than one.

The Lions and Lady Lions, making the jump from 1A to 2A this season, got their first wins in their first tries in Division 1-2A. And Gerone Kirkland, head coach of the H.W. Byers boys, recorded his 800th career victory. He’s in his 41st season, seventh at Byers.

“That’s a tremendous accomplishment for Coach Kirkland,” said Jason Thompson, athletic director and head coach of the Lady Lions. “We’re proud for him.

“This puts him in the top bracket in wins for coaches in Mississippi.

“There is only one more active coach in the state with more wins.”

The 800th victory did not come easy. The Lions pulled out a 58-56 win over the Bearcats in overtime.

Terdarin Bryson was the top gun for H.W. Byers. He scored 19 points. Bradley Coleman and Courtney Young followed with 14 and 12, respectively.

The Lions rallied from a 16-7 first-quarter deficit.

Byers improved to 6-7. It was Baldwyn’s first loss of the year.

The Lady Lions turned up the defensive heat and dealt the Lady Bearcats a 46-30 setback.

“We stepped up and play solid defense,” Coach Thompson said. “We knew the significance of the game. We had a focused mindset and took care of business.”

The Byers girls improved to 6-8. It was the Lady Bearcats’ first loss.

“It was a good experience to beat one one of the upper teams in the 2A league on the road,” Thompson said. “They don’t lose too much at home.

“Plus, it’s where our district tournament will be held. We wanted to send a statement, and now we know we can compete (in 2A).”

Ciara Seldon’s 13-point performance led the Lady Lions, who outscored Baldwyn 25-11 in the second half.

H.W. Byers teams visited Ashland on Tuesday. They then go to Rosa Fort on Friday night.

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