Thursday, January 18, 2007
sweeps Potts Camp
By BARRY BURLESON
Free throws often decide close games. Such was the case in last week’s basketball contests between Marshall County rivals Byhalia and Potts Camp.
Coach Brian Smith said his Cardinals, playing on the road, made only 13 of 27 shots from the charity stripe, while the Indians hit key free throws down the stretch. The result was a 79-70 Byhalia win.
“We didn’t make free throws and our defense was not very good,” Smith said. “Byhalia has good athletes with good quickness. They did a better job of running the break and converting. It was one of those nights - they got to every loose ball.”
Leading point men for coach Charles Gillespie’s Indians in the nine-point victory were Cornelius Blackmon with 20, Norrell Malone with 19, Gunnett Joyner with 19 and Pier Benson with nine.
Top point producers for Potts Camp were Justin Smith with a game-high 23, Jacobye Davis with 16, Chris Sims with 15 and Josh Martin with 12.
“There were three or four lead changes in the fourth quarter,” Coach Smith said. “It was closer than that (nine points). We had to foul toward the end and they hit their free throws.
“Byhalia is deeper than us, too. They were able to play a lot of people and got contributions from them.”
The Byhalia Lady Indians hit 23 of 38 free throw attempts in a hard-fought 67-62 win over rival Potts Camp.
The Lady Cardinals shot just 12 from the line and hit seven.
“It was a typical Potts Camp-Byhalia game, down to the wire” said Kevin Harris, coach of the Lady Cardinals.
“There’s no shame in losing to them. They’re a good basketball team.”
But Coach Harris was a bit troubled by the vast difference in free throw tries.
“I’m proud of the way my kids played, but Byhalia didn’t deserve to go to the line that much, and we deserved to be at the line more than we were,” he said. “The disparity in free throws killed us.
“We played around foul trouble. It seemed like two separate games - anything goes on one end and tight on the other.”
Coach Summer Pannell’s Lady Indians nailed five of six three throw attempts in the last minute to nail down the five-point win.
Five Byhalia players scored in double figures - Lashonda Odum with 15, Brandy Fayne with 13, Chasidy Kizer with 12, Takita Wells with 12 and Roszetta Blackmon with 10.
Kenyotta Jenkins poured in a game-high 29 points for the Lady Cardinals. Jasmine Harmon added 16.
Potts Camp vs. Baldwyn
The Lions snatched a district road win Friday night at Baldwyn, 75-68.
“It was big,” said Coach Smith, whose team moved to 2-0 in the district and 15-7 overall. “Baldwyn is not an easy place to play.”
The second quarter proved crucial. Potts Camp outscored the Bearcats 23-16 in the period.
Nine grader Johnathan Falkner came off the bench to hit a three and a two to give the Cardinals a five-point lead at the half.
“Baldwyn was sagging their defense back on Jacobye (Davis) and he (Falkner) gave us a lift,” Smith said.
Davis led the Cardinals in scoring. He had 26, including eight of 10 from the free throw line in the fourth. Smith was close behind with 19 points, while Shawn Collins scored 15 and Martin 10. Martin was also big on the boards. He had 14 rebounds.
Several Cardinals stayed in foul trouble. Sims fouled out.
“Our kids showed a lot of heart,” Smith said. “We were down by five with about 3:50 left in the game. We played smart and did what we had to do to get the win.”
The Lady Cardinals weren’t as fortunate. They were bit by the upset bug, losing 73-61 at Baldwyn.
“They (the Lady Bearcats) played relaxed and made tough shot after tough shot,” Coach Harris said. “They started feeling the upset and finished it off. They experienced that one magical night. There’s probably a lot of good teams they could have beaten on this night, but it happened to us.”
Baldwyn led 34-30 at the half.
“We didn’t play particularly badly,” Harris said. “Our shot selection was not good at times.”
Potts Camp shot just 11 free throws and made only five of those. Baldwyn was 11 of 19 from the line.
“I guess I need to write my Congressman and find out why Potts Camp can’t get to the free throw line more than 12 times,” Harris said. “Those are the breaks.”
Jenkins completed a 56-point week in two games. She scored 27 in the loss to Baldwyn. Samantha Nance and Harmon added nine each.
“We just have to pick ourselves up and regroup,” said Harris, whose team dropped to 11-10 overall and 0-2 in the district. “It’s not the end of the world. We’ll bounce back. There’s a lot of basketball left to play.”
Potts Camp teams hosted East Union Tuesday in district play. They go to Ashland Friday for a pair of district contests.
Next Tuesday, Jan. 23, they travel to rival Hickory Flat.
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