Thursday, December 7, 2006
All Byers in Bi-County
By CLAUDE VINSON
H.W. Byers swept the Bi-County Tournament title games Saturday night, dethroning defending champions.
The two championship contests at Hickory Flat followed two consolation contests.
Lady Rebels-Lady Cardinals
The first consolation matchup featured across-the-line rivals Hickory Flat and Potts Camp.
The Lady Rebels outlasted the Lady Cardinals by one point, winning 56-55 in front of a jubilant home crowd.
Kortny Tucker led the victors with 20, followed by Hannah Wilkerson with 17.
Kenyotta Jenkins was high for the Lady Cardinals with 21. Jasmine Harmon shot for 18.
In the boys consolation, the Blue Devils of Ashland bested the Potts Camp Cardinals by two points. The Cardinals led by five points at halftime but fell behind in the last two quarters, losing 71-69.
The Blue Devils had a trio in double figures, led by Calvin Hampton with 17, Quent Williams with 17 and Darnell Anderson with 15.
Potts Camp was paced by Jacobye Davis with 28 and Justin Smith with 14.
The third game of the evening was the girls championship, pitting coach Jason Thompson and the Lady Lions against defending champs Byhalia Lady Indians and coach Summer Pannell.
The much-improved Lady Lions indicated early that this one was going right down to the wire. They battled to a 15-15 tie in the first quarter.
Going into the second it was Shandricka Jones and LaShonda Odum carrying the load for the Lady Indians. The Lady Lions were showing a burst of pure speed with Rachel Jones taking over the fast breaks.
Byhalia’s Chasidy Kizer popped one trey and then another, but in between, Latasha Anderson plastered one for Byers. Byhalia took the three-point lead into the locker room at halftime. The score was 37-34.
The tide shifted in the fourth quarter with the Lady Lions running past the Indians to lead by six after three complete. They upped the lead to 10 in the last frame and were never headed after that.
The Lady Indians could not counter and had to resort to fouling, sending Jones to the charity stripe on three consecutive trips. Jones made five of the freebies and gave the Lady Lions the championship at 63-55. They improved to 7-1.
Ciara Seldon and Jones led the new champs with 15 apiece. Byhalia’s best shooters were Kizer with 22 and Odum with 14.
One of the star players for the Lady Indians, Brandy Fane, is still recovering from an early season injury and did not participate in the tournament.
The last game of the evening saw another “dethroning.” The defending champs, Holly High Hawks, ran into a virtual buzz saw when they took the floor against the determined H.W. Byers Lions.
The capacity crowd had already witnessed one defending champ from the 3A ranks bite the dust and seemed hungry for a second.
The Hawks eked out a three- point lead in the first quarter, but in the second it was a decidedly different story. The hungry Lions overpowered and devoured the Hawks, outpointing them 25-7 in that single quarter. The Lions were clearly on their game from that point on.
The Hawks were helpless to stop the onslaught. Coach Kilgore cleared the bench midway through the fourth quarter and every Lion who hit the floor scored.
The Lions went on to a 65-50 win and their first Bi-County title. They improved to 6-2.
Justin Owens led all shooters with 24. Nicholas Tate pitched in 13.
Daniel Burton led the Hawks with 18, and Jeremy Jeffries had 16.
Sports Editor’s Note: Gary McBride, head coach of the Lady Rebels and tournament director, along with the staff at Hickory Flat, are to be complimented for staging an outstanding event. Also thanks to Mrs. Lynn Stewart (who is going to kill me for mentioning her name) and her hospitable staff in the hospitality room.
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