Thursday, November 23, 2006
County rivals split on court
By BARRY BURLESON
Potts Camp survived a trip into the Lions’ Den Friday night, due in large part to its “two-headed monster,” according to head coach Brian Smith.
That’s the term tagged on Cardinals Jacobye Davis and Justin Smith as the excited coach talked outside the winning dressing room. The two seniors combined for 59 points in Potts Camp’s dramatic 81-77 win over Marshall County rival H.W. Byers on the road. Davis scored a game-high 38, including four free throws in the final 16 seconds, and Smith added 21.
“That’s big-time clutch,” Coach Smith said.
“We hit the big free throws down the stretch. We made the plays we had to to win in a tough environment.”
The Lions grabbed an early 5-2 lead on Tedarian Bryson’s three-point shot. But Potts Camp got ahead 13-10 on Davis’ three and didn’t trail again until late in the fourth.
Potts Camp went up 31-22 after one period on a bucket by Josh Martin, and the lead stretched to double digits early in the second quarter. Byers got a couple of baskets on the break from Marvin Rayford and Tristan Kizer and two free throws from Bryson to slice the deficit to 46-41 at the half.
The third quarter stayed close. At the buzzer Bryson drilled a shot from half court to cut into Potts Camp’s lead, making it 63-60.
The fourth, to put it mildly, was crazy. The Lions played long ball. Fredrick Jones, Kizer and Nick Tate hit a three apiece to tie the game at 71-71 with 3:22 to go. Kizer’s steal and layup gave Byers its first lead since the first quarter, 75-73.
But Potts Camp tied it at 77, and the Lions turned the ball over four times in the last minute. Davis nailed the pressure free throws, including the decisive two with just one second left.
“My guys showed heart,” Coach Smith said. “A lot of breaks went against us. We’re an inside team, and they were jacking threes. The math almost caught up with us, but we were able to withstand.”
Byers had four players in double figures Rayford and Jones with 16 each, Bryson with 14 and Kizer with 13. Coach Sylvester Kilgore finally fielded a full team with several players coming back from suspensions.
“We fought back, but the ball didn’t bounce our way,” Kilgore said. “We had multiple opportunities and didn’t take advantage. Having the rest of my guys back helped us a lot. I have a lot of confidence in all my guys.”
The Cardinals improved to 9-2, while the Lions went to 3-2.
Byers-Potts Camp Girls
The girls contest between the two rivals wasn’t as close. The third quarter was the difference. Byers outscored Potts Camp 30-10 in the period and went on to the 77-59 win.
“We made some adjustments at the half and maybe threw some things at them defensively that they didn’t anticipate,” said Jason Thompson, whose Lady Lions improved to 4-1. “We had a lot of speed on the floor in the third quarter, and our defensive intensity picked up. We got the momentum going and used our depth.”
Kevin Harris, whose Lady Cardinals dropped to 7-3, said his team “got rattled in the third quarter and tried to go too fast.”
“Take away three minutes of the third quarter, and it’s a ball game. I could have stopped the run if I had had 10 timeouts, but I used two.”
It was the Lady Cardinals who were flying high in the first quarter. They went up 6-0 on Samantha Nance’s putback. Byers didn’t score its first basket until two minutes into the game.
Jasmine Harmon’s three with six seconds left put Potts Camp up 17-7 after one.
The Lady Lions launched their comeback in the second quarter. They went ahead 20-19 at the 5:30 mark on Letasha Anderson’s layup. They led 26-25 at the half.
Pressure defense, offensive board work and long-range bombs ignited Byers in the fourth. Ciara Seldon and Brittany Todd each sank two threes in the quarter and helped push the lead to 56-35.
The Lady Cardinals didn’t die. Shanekqua Johnson’s layup at the 3:26 mark of the fourth cut the deficit to 10, but Byers withstood and pulled away for the win.
“Byers is a fine team,” Harris said. “They did a great job on the offensive glass, and when all is said and done, that was probably the difference. In the first half we controlled the boards.”
Thompson said, “Potts Camp came to play. I was proud of the way we took their punch (in the first quarter) and then got it going. Our defense helped make the threes fall in the third quarter. It was our best shooting this year (in the third).”
For Byers, Simone Ryan and Rachel Jones scored 14 each. Jones hit eight of 10 free throw tries in the fourth. Anderson added 12 points, and Marian Parker had 10. Ten players scored.
For Potts Camp, Kenyotta Jenkins scored a game-high 23, including 13 of 16 from the free-throw stripe. Jasmine Harmon added 20.
Potts Camp vs. Houlka
The Cardinals and Lady Cardinals swept Houlka Tuesday of last week at home, the boys winning 76-67 and the girls 68-53.
Davis led the Potts Camp boys with 27 points. Smith and Shawn Collins added 18 and 15 respectively.
“The guys are playing well,” Coach Smith said. “They’re buying into my system.”
In the girls game, Jenkins and Harmon scored 45 of the team’s 68 - Jenkins with 30 and Harmon with 15.
“We played really good,” Harris said. “It was one of our best offensive efforts.”
Byers vs. Tunica Rosa Fort
The Lions and Lady Lions both lost to 4A Rosa Fort Tuesday of last week at home - the boys 64-60 and the girls 54-43.
Top scorers for the Lions were Justin Owens with 20 and Jones and Rayford with 10 each.
“We have some young guys and some veteran guys and we’re still trying to get it together,” Coach Kilgore said.
Leading point producers for the Lady Lions were Simone Ryan with 12, Seldon with 11 and Jones with 10.
Potts Camp teams visit Lewisburg Tuesday, Nov. 28. Byers squads traveled to Coldwater Tuesday of this week week and host New Albany next Tuesday, Nov. 28.
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