Thursday, June 7, 2007
Byers seniors, coach help lead West basketball stars to win
By BARRY BURLESON
An H.W. Byers trio played a key role in an all-star basketball team win Saturday.
The West defeated the East 63-50 in the Northeast Mississippi Basketball Coaches Association (NEMBCA) 1A/2A all-star girls basketball contest. Four games (two girls and two boys) were played at Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville.
Head coach of the 1A/2A West girls was Jason Thompson of H.W. Byers. He was joined by two Lady Lions, LeTasha Anderson and Brittany Todd, who graduated in May.
Anderson scored 11 points in the win and Todd three.
Coach Thompson said Anderson contributed “critical rebounds, steals and layups” in the team’s victory.
He said Todd hit a huge three with about 4:00 to go in the game that put the West up by six.
“That gave us a cushion and helped us pull away,” Thompson said. “She did for the all-star team what she did for me all her career.”
He said after the game the three talked about it being their last time together on the court.
“It was an emotional experience,” Coach Thompson said. “I’ve had such a great time coaching them throughout their careers. I’m very proud they had the opportunity to go out on top.
“We didn’t win the gold ball (state tournament), but they did win their last high school basketball game. That’s special to them and to me.”
The players arrived in Booneville Friday and had a couple of practices before the Saturday game. There were three-point, free-throw, lay-up and hot shot competitions Friday night.
“I really appreciate the opportunity to coach and work with a group of fine players from different schools,” Thompsons aid. “It was a pleasure to help gell them together in a day and compete and win. It was a determined group.
“A lot of them played for our arch-rivals, but all the girls got along extremely well. It was a good experience.”
The West took three of four on the day – also winning the 1A/2A boys, 79-75, and the 3A/4A/5A boys, 79-65. In the 3A/4A/5Agirls game, the East won 75-48.
Coach Thompson said Tristan Kizer of H.W. Byers, another 2007 graduate, played for the West in the boys all-star game. He also played in the 1A-2A all-star baseball game the same day at Corinth. The West won the baseball game 12-5.
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