Thursday, March 2, 2005

• State Basketball Tournament •
Byers Lions advance; Cardinals eliminated

Sports Editor

H.W. Byers head coach Gerone Kirkland and the Lions were back in “The Big House” Monday afternoon, a long road trip that has become very common in recent years.

They were beginning a fifth consecutive tournament run for the state title in the 1A classification at Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.

This time the opponent would be a very first time entry to the trials, the Fighting Irish from St. Joesph’s, a parochial school out of Greenville. For the past two years the Lions have survived the opening salvos and ended up facing the Ray Brooks Tigers who went on to capture the crowns.

Shot selection was good early on but most drew iron. The score at the end of the first frame was 15-14 in favor of the Lions.

Byers was able to move out to a 10-point lead in the second quarter because of stick- backs by post players; however, they let that advantage slip to three when Walter Howard of the Irish hit a clock beating jumper to close the half.

The Lions still led 27-24.

The Irish continued to benefit from the charity stripe although the Lions had the lead. The Irish hit six of seven while the Lions had just two oppoertunities.

After the half, Byers went on another important scoring spurt, running the margin back to 10 but the Lions just could not take the fight out of the Irish.

St. Joe was doing a good job of trapping the ball inside; however, their outlet passes were often lost.

When Jeremy Robinson slammed one through in the closing moments of the contest, he put the final pall on the run by the Irish and let the Lions move on to the next opponent with the 57-49 win.

Robinson and Johnny Shaw led the Lions with 12 points, followed by Brandon Young with 11.

The Irish got steam from Jeremy Rhymes with 14, Rodney Esters with 12 and Walter Howard with 10.

The Lions (23-12) the second-lace team from the North, moves on to face South Half champion Durant on Friday, March 4, at 8 p.m. in the semi-finals. The 1A state title game is set Thursday, March 10, at 2:30 p.m. The other semi-final matchup pits Hickory Flat against McAdams.

For a brief period in “The Big House” on Monday night, there appeared a glimmer of an all Marshall County matchup later in the playoffs of Class 1A.

Potts Camp Cardinals fall to McAdams

H.W. Byers had eliminated their foe Monday afternoon in the State Tournament at Mississippi Coliseum and moved on. The Potts Camp Cardinals were poised to do the same.

The last time the Cardinals had appeared in the State Tournament at Jackson was in 1993.

The Cardinals started against McAdams as if they were ready for the quest, taking an early 10 point lead and seemingly pinning the Bulldogs ears back. But, they let Thaddeus Wilson sink a long three and Dynatious Latiker pick a Cardinals’ pocket, and the score was suddenly knotted at 14.

Near the end of the first quarter, there was a technical foul called on Potts Camp player and then another on the Bulldogs. After the game crew finished sorting things out, two players had been ejected, one from each team.

The first frame ended still stuck at 14-14.

In the second frame the Bulldogs had the force and beat the Cardinals on the break. Midway through the second they had a nine-point lead.

The Cardinals got good looks from the posts positions but they wouldn’t drop. They also only hit four from three point land in the game.

The Cards later went down 49-37 and it got worse from that point.

They failed to stop the passes going through the back door. Plus Lykendrick Malone practically lived at the charity stripe during the last five minutes of the game.

The final score was Bulldogs 77, Cardinals 64.

Jacobye Davis paced the Cardinals with 19, followed by Chris Christian with 14 and Reggie Lesure with 10.

The Bulldogs had four players in double figures – Wilson leading with 20, Latiker and Victor Anderson with 18 and 17, respectively, and Malone with 12.

The Cardinals, coached by Chris Ferrell, finish the season with a 16-22 record.

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