January 3, 2008
Northwest Rangers Classic
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Lady Lions of H.W. Byers had performed admirably throughout the Northwest Rangers Classic. And it was almost a sure bet that they would have to face the Lady Cougars of Coldwater before it was all over. It happened. The two best teams in the northern part of the state, both unbeaten, would square off against each other in the finals.
Loyalties aside, it was a packed house at Senatobia Saturday night when the teams hit the floor. A real war was being waged from the very beginning. It was a 14-12 first quarter with Byers having the edge.
Play only intensified during the next period. A major battle was being fought in the paint. Simone Ryan was taking on the twin pillars of the Lady Cougars, Waytasha Page and Ashley Daniels. Ryan was battling the double scoring threat from both sides and more often than not coming out the winner. Ryan was also planting them from outside the arc. The score was a solid knot at intermission at 23-23.
The Lady Lions came out with the after-burners on to open the second half. They ran off seven unanswered points. They were getting little help from the game- regulating officials. The Lady Cougars began making close-in baskets and soon had a seven- point lead of their own. They were in front 40-34 when the third was finished.
A pair of minutes into the last frame and Byers still had not wiped away the seven points deficit. The Lady Lions had a period where they missed some crucial free throws. Conversely, the Lady Cougars were making good their attempts at the charity stripe. They hit a dozen freebies down the stretch.
The final score was 55-48. The game was the highlight of the tournament – two well trained, well coached teams vying for the first- place trophy.
Ryan hit 16 for Byers, followed by 14 from Rachel Jones. Amanda Jones had 10.
Ashley Daniels and Kayla Davis led Coldwater. Daniels had 19 and Davis 13.
The Lady Lions fell to 16-1 on the season. The Lady Cougars improved to 16-0.
Both Holly High teams won their games on day three. The boys defeated North Panola and the girls beat Independence. The H.W. Byers boys lost to South Panola.
H.W. Byers teams play in the Oxford Tournament this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Jan 3-5.
The Lady Lions and Lions play Pontotoc Thursday at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., respectively, then face Itawamba Friday at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and meet Oxford Saturday at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The Holly Springs High School Hawks and Lady Hawks will compete in the Booneville Tournament Friday and Saturday, Jan. 4-5. Also participating will be the Byhalia Lady Indians and Indians.
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