Lady Indians take North crown, earn first-ever trip to State
The one-of-a-kind celebration went from center court to the locker room Saturday night. It is no doubt continuing this week in the halls of Byhalia High School.
The Lady Indians are State Tournament bound for the first time in school history. They knocked off Cleveland East Side 51-37 in the North State championship game at Amory High School.
This is Byhalia history, said an excited head coach Summer Pannell, in just her third season. This is the first time the girls have ever won district, the first time theyve ever won north half and the first time theyve ever been to state. Were going to enjoy this and rest some.
The Lady Indians have more than a week off. They will face the Southeast Lauderdale versus Water Valley winner on Wednesday, March 8, at 1 p.m. at Mississippi Coliseum.
This team is confident and plays with a lot of heart, said Pannell, whose Byhalia team carries a 28-6 record to State. Its all about defense. Thats the way weve been winning all year.
The D was indeed stout in the title contest, holding East Side to just 37 points. But the offense wasnt bad either.
Jalisa Bronson scored a game-high 18 points for the Lady Indians. Chasidy Kizer added nine and Brandy Fayne eight.
Rebounding was a huge difference, too. Bronson pulled down 14, while Ashley Wilson had nine and Queanisha Cathey eight.
The Lady Indians never trailed. They were up 13-8 after the first period and led by as many as nine in the second quarter. Faynes short jump shot made it 26-21 at the half.
Pannells squad built as much as a 10-point advantage in the third and was on top 34-29 at quarters end.
Catheys drive and bucket with 2:59 to go in the game put the Lady Indians well in control at 47-37.
Im proud of you, and your school and your community will be proud, too, said superintendent of education Don Randolph, who joined the post-game celebration in the locker room.
Byhalia vs. Ripley.
The Lady Indians turned back nemesis Ripley 67-60 Friday night, guaranteeing them a state tournament spot and placing them in the title contest against East Side. It was their first win over the Lady Tigers in about 10 years.
We played one of our best games of the year, Pannell said. We had to.
Wilson gunned in 17 points, including two big threes in the fourth quarter. Kizer followed with nine points. Ladonna Thomas and Lashonda Odum added eight each. Rebounding leaders were Bronson with nine and Cathey with seven.
Byhalia led 36-32 at the half.
Byhalia vs. South Delta
The Lady Indians opened play in the quarter-final round at Amory with a convincing 66-50 victory over South Delta.
Its the same thing; we brought the defense, Pannell said. We pressured the ball and made them make mistakes.
South Delta is a good team. They had scored 82 on Monday night.
Three Lady Indians combined for 32 rebounds Bronson with 13, Wilson with 11 and Cathey with eight.
Byhalia was up 30 points with four minutes to go.
Cathey was the top scorer with 22. Wilson had 14 and Kizer 10, each hitting two threes. Fayne also went five-for-five from the field for 10 points.
We were really hitting the boards, getting two or three shots to their one, Pannell said.
Byhalia vs. Kossuth
The Lady Indians hosted the Kossuth Lady Aggies in the opening round of North State play Monday night, Feb. 20, and coasted to the 58-36 win.
Three players scored in double digits Bronson with 14 and Fayne and Odum with 11 each. Cathey added eight.
With a win Wednesday of next week, the Lady Indians will play in the Class 3A state title game on Saturday, March 11, at 1 p.m. in The Big House. The three teams in the other side of the bracket are East Side, Hazlehurst and Choctaw Central.
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