Indians win district titles
Byhalia girls down Devils for first place
The Byhalia Lady Indians entered the Region 3-3A fray after sitting out the first round thanks to their number one seed.
They were matched against the Lady Wildcats of Independence after the latter had dispatched the Lady Hawks on opening day.
The Lady Kats might have given the Lady Indians an initial shock. They came out in a very strong defensive mode and played the Lady Indians tight and tough.
The low scoring in the first stanza was a predictor of things to come. Independence wiped away the 10-5 deficit and held the Lady Indians to just four points in the entire second quarter to make it a low knot at 14-14 at intermission.
The defensive struggle carried over into the third stanza. The Lady Kats were still not giving the hosts any breathing room. Both teams produced better scores in the third with the Lady Indians just two points better at 31-29.
This was a scrappy, dedicated Lady Kats team. They made Byhalia earn every point.
Head coach Summer Pannell called a pair of quick timeouts to change the tempo. It had its impact. Lashonda Odum started to penetrate, and Brandy Fayne and Chasity Kizer began the pressure from outside. They slowly outpointed the Lady Kats to take the 51-39 win and move on to the championship round.
Fayne led the victors with 15, Odum pitched in 13 and Kizer had nine.
For the Lady Kats it was Donica Cosby with 13 and Tamilla Moore with eight.
The 3-3A division showdown came down to the Lady Blue Devils of Water Valley and the Lady Indians. The Lady Indians and the Lady Devils had been on a collision course since the Lady Devils sent the Lady Warriors of Senatobia to the consolation bracket.
The Lady Devils were outpointing the Lady Indians early on until Ashley Wilson let fly two back to back threes from the same spot. They had let their nine-point lead slip a couple of digits, but they were still in control at halftime by seven, 28-21.
In the third, Byhalia was trying hard for a combination that would put the Lady Devils away, but it kept eluding them. The main reason was Lady Devil Sasha Carrs accuracy from beyond the arc.
Byhalias Wilson kept the Lady Indians out front but by a very thin thread. That thread had evaporated at the end of three which saw a score knotted at 37.
These two tea were turning this one into a real champioship contest. They were tracking the ball and playing with gusto. They were countering each others every move.
In the end it was the Lady Indians riding into the victors column and Coach Pannell her very first divisional title, at 47-41.
Wilson and Kizer had 10 each. Fayne had eight, and Queanisha Cathey led Byhalia with 13.
Lady Devil Keke Fondon shot for 13, while Carr had 11, and Miranda Phillips had seven.
The Lady Indians would host the first game of the North State playoffs on Monday against Kossuth.
The rest of the Class 3A Tournament later this week will be hosted by Amory since the first choice (Alcorn Central ) was eliminated in district play.
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