Thursday, February 22, 2007
Lady Indians open tourney with win over Cougars
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Byhalia Lady Indians had entered the Region 3-3A Tournament opener at Water Valley in a three-way tie for the third seed. The Lady Cougars and the Lady Dragons of M.S Palmer were also in the mix.
The Lady Indians sank the first four points and despite numerous travel calls (on both teams), they led for most of the quarter, then North Panola took a one-point lead at quarter’s end (11-10).
Byhalia went to a spread offense, making it hard for Palmer to cover. They were trapping well on defense but still losing many balls to travel calls. Panola had settled down and were now putting points on the boards. They kept hitting the nylon and ran up a 31-17 score at intermission.
Byhalia was being haunted by turnovers and mental mistakes in the third. The Lady Cougars were hanging onto a 12-point margin. The Lady Indians couldn’t get anything to fall. They were blowing a lot of close-in attempts.
They had been down by as many as 17 at one point then LaDonna Thomas finally planted a three which cut it to seven, going 45-38 at quarter’s end.
Byhalia was trying hard to mount a comeback but they failed in shutting down Panola’s scoring. Thomas went to the line and cut it to four, but they gave Panola another basket.
Panola still had a four-point lead and the ball at 3:34. Byhalia’s LaShonda Odum had a chance to reduce it to deuce but missed the follow-up on a one and one. Byhalia kept pushing it and Roszetta Blackmon pulled the Lady Indians even at 59-59. Panola took the lead again and it was tied once more with 2.6 seconds left.
Time expired and the first game of the 3A playoffs was in overtime. It looked like it would take a small miracle for the Lady Indians to defeat stubborn Panola.
Byhalia had eked out a four-point lead with 1:04 left. Time was quickly running out and Blackmon went to the line again and gave Byhalia a one-point lead at 67-66. Chasidy Kizer just might have delivered that miracle when she went to the line and sank a pair. Panola had no time to recover and Byhala won 69-66.
Kizer led the winners with 15, followed by Thomas with 14 and Odum with 12.
Byhalia loses to Warriors
Byhalia was back at war on the 13th, this time facing top seeded Senatobia. The Lady Warriors had the top spot by virtue of their 6-0 record in the district.
And they were having the best of it, but the Lady Indians were helping. Their ball handling left a lot to be desired and they were losing the loose ball battle at both ends of the court. They didn’t get out of the single digits in the first frame and were down by 12, 26-14, at intermission.
The Lady Indians came out of the locker room in a hustle mode. They quickly cut the lead to five, momentarily stunning the Lady Warriors. But throwaways were costly.
Brandy Fayne, who had been instrumental in the Lady Indians’ success the past three seasons could only support her team in silence from the bench. Fayne had undergone an ACL operation early in the season and had been lost for the rest of the campaign.
The third frame ended with the Lady Indians still on the low end at 38-28. Would they deliver another small miracle? They were about at the same place which they were the evening before when they staged the successful takeover of Panola.
They had time. They needed patience and accuracy. They had the former but the latter was lacking. They fell to the top seed by 46-41.
Chasidy Kizer led the Lady Indians with 15.
The Lady Indians would face county nemesis Holly High in the consolation round on Friday.
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