Thursday, February 8, 2007
Byers teams perfect in district
By CLAUDE VINSON
The H.W Byers teams faced another set of Cardinals in their class last Friday night in the Lions’ den.
The Lady Lions, coming in 17-8 overall, had to square off against a Belmont team with an overall record of 22-2 and a like undefeated record of 5-0 in the district.
The Lady Cardinals set up a shifting 2-3 defense which effectively blocked the pass to the basket. This held Byers to eight points in the first quarter, while the visitors scored 16.
One would think this was a championship game by the manner in which both teams battled for possession on each loose ball. The Lady Lions were keeping up and only lagged behind by a couple of points. Rachel Jones was keeping them in contention with her playmaking and hitting strategic shots. She gave them a 30-30 tie at the halftime buzzer.
Coming out, Simone Ryan gave Byers its first lead on the second shot of the second half. The Lady Lions would hang on to the narrow margin through the third quarter, being out front 46-43.
Ciara Seldon gave Byers a big push with a pair of treys which gave the home team its biggest lead of seven points. But Belmont would not concede.
Crunch time came with about 1:47 left in regulation and Byers holding a two-point lead. Belmont took the lead at 57-56, but then fouled and sent Ciara Seldon to the line with four seconds left in the game. She calmly canned both and it was enough for the 58-57 win.
Jones and Ryan had 12 apiece and Seldon and Amanda Jones had 11 each.
Kallie Montgomery had a game-high 24 for Belmont. Anna Brooke Page registered 13, and Rumae Butler pitched in 12.
Thanks to the huge win, the Lady Lions will be the top seed in next week’s district tournament at Belmont.
Byers stops Belmont to keep perfect district record
The Lions began the scoring on a reverse lay-up by Marvin Rayford. That seemed to have set the tone.
The Lions started to take this one over from the very beginning. They got a 100-plus effort from Darrius Wells, who seemed to be everywhere. They were moving the ball very well, defending studiously and shooting selectively. They enjoyed a 22-7 lead at the first quarter’s end.
They developed a 30-12 cushion at one point, but allowed the Cardinals to score six unanswered points. The score was 34-18 at halftime.
The Belmont tone had changed after the break. They began forcing drives into the lane and taking shots. They were staying pretty close, seven back at the end of the third frame, 45-38.
The Lions kept trying to deliver the knockout blow, but the Cardinals kept resisting. Twice, they cut the lead to five. At another point Alex Moses bounced in and cut it to two with 52.3 left on the clock. But they had to foul to obtain possession and this sent Tristan Kizer to the line. And just as he did in Potts Camp, he kept the Cardinals at bay. His production at the charity stripe gave the Lions the 62-57 win.
Wells led the Lions with 21, followed by Justin Owens with 11.
Moses led the visitors with 18. Tyler Williams hit for 14.
With the huge victory, the Lions, who improved to 14-9 overall and 6-0 in the district) will be the top seed in the tournament next week at Belmont.
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