Thursday, November 15, 2007
County rivals split
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Byhalia Indians and Lady Indians had a full house on hand to welcome their cross county rival, H.W. Byers, Tuesday night of last week. This would be the first meeting this season between the two.
The Lady Lions grabbed a 14-9 lead in the first quarter. Early in the second, Simone Ryan entered the rotation and teamed with Rachel Jones on a couple quick relays. The pace picked up and the defense tightened for both teams. Play was rough and there was no reluctance to put bodies on the floor. Even with the hard pace, fouling was low. The Lady Lions were up by 10 points, 30-20, when the first quarter was complete.
The Indians increased their accuracy in the second frame, but Ryan and Jones were finding ways to penetrate and protect the double digit lead of the visitors. Symone Gorman was cleaning up via the back door. The Lady Indians’ LaPorshea Malone finally cut the Byhalia lead to single digits just before the buzzer, but the Lady Lions ran it right back up and went into intermission with a 44-36 margin.
The third quarter was almost tit for tat and midway through the fourth quarter, Amanda Jones, who had been doing a great job on defense for H.W. Byers, was whistled for her fifth infraction. At about 2:40 left, Byhalia lost Melisa Jones.
The Lady Indians had to resort to fouling and sent Jones to the charity stripe and the guard hit eleven free throws, to help Byers to the 67-51 win.
Ryan led the floor with 19, followed by Jones with 16. Gorman had 14.
The Lady Indians had one shooter in double figures, Chasidy Kizer with 18.
Indians get first win under new head coach Michael Neal
The Lions gave the Indians a temporary shock at the outset. Justin Owens hit eight quick points for Byers – a pair of ball park shots, one from each side and then a float down the lane. He had put up 12 before Byhalia scored on a reverse layup. They led 18-10 at the end of the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, the crowd was clamoring for the Indians to take the lead after it was tied 18 all. They got it a couple of plays later and went on to go up by five at half time with a score of 31-26.
The Indians increased their lead in the third and they found ways to foil the three-point attempts of Owens. They were up 51-40 after three.
The last frame saw Byhalia’s Cornelius Blackmon hit his stride. The Lions were employing a shifting zone, but some of the players were showing signs of fatigue. And the Indians were finding ways to slip through and they were slaying the Lions on the fast breaks.
But Owens was not quite done yet. His three balls trimmed the deficit to seven with about a half minute left. It was not enough to turn the tide. The Indians took the win 66-57.
Owens hit 26 in the losing effort, followed by T.J. Bryson with 12.
Blackmon led the Indians with 20. Mario Parker added 13.
Both teams played at home on November 13 – Byers hosting Rosa Fort and Byhalia hosting Independence. The Indians visit Coldwater Friday and host Memphis Central next Tuesday. Byers visits Strayhorn next Tuesday.
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