H.W. Byers hosted a one-day summer shootout on June 9. Invitees were Delta Academy, Holly High and Middleton, Tenn.
Coach Jason Thompson’s Lady Lions squared off against the Lady Raiders of Delta to open things up. The Lady Raiders’ Bliss Gurley posted up and hit a deuce for the first points. Ciarra Seldon, whose trademark is a long trey from the corner, reprised her regular season role and put the Lady Lions ahead. Rachel Jones was play-calling and Kourtney Coleman was operating the key.
Byers looked crisp in its attack even though their season had been over for a couple of months. Rachel and Amanda Jones were providing the speed which Delta was hard pressed to match. The first 20-minute period expired with the Lady Lions holding a commanding lead of 26-3.
The Lady Raiders came alive in the second half, going to Gurley often, which added a quick nine points to their resume. They improved their defense which cut off some sure baskets for Byers. The Lady Lions’ pace had slowed along with their scoring. But they were still exhibiting a solid defense and they ended up 12 points better than the Lady Raiders at 43-31.
Coleman led Byers with 12, followed by Symone Gorman with nine.
Gurley hit 11 for the Lady Raiders.
Byers Lions fall to Raiders on a buzzer beater
The Delta Academy Raiders had a couple of hot three pointers to take a 7-4 lead.They were taking full advantage of all scoring opportunities. The lead slowly increased and the Lions appeared powerless to stop it. The Raiders were not only playing good offense, their defense was also clicking. They were forcing the Lions into perimeter shots which were not connecting. Coach Sylvester Kilgore sent in all fresh troops in the last two and a half minutes, but they didn’t cut the lead by much. The Raiders led 21-12 at intermission.
Delta had kept the lead during the entire first half, but the Lions started to turn the screw in the early part of the second. Andre Jones was finding ways to sift through the Raiders defense and hit some key close in buckets. They crept up on the Delta lead and with just under two minutes left, Jones evened it at 42.
It was tied, untied and then the Lions brought their supporters alive when they took a four-point lead, their first of the game. It looked as if it was going to Byers with just seconds left and nursing a two-point lead. Then Josh Corbin hit his third trey for the Raiders at the buzzer, snatching the victory from the Lions’ mouth at 48-47.
Jones led the Lions and all players with 12 points. Fred Jones had nine.
Corbin led the Raiders with nine.
Holly High Lady Hawks lose to Middleton Lady Tigers
Head coach Wilbert Beard said his Lady Hawks had not been on the court since the regular season ended. He expected them to be a little rusty.
The last time the Lady Tigers made the trip to H.W. Byers, they came with an unsullied record. They left with their first loss, courtesy of the Lady Lions.
They looked a bit sluggish this time, but they took an early lead over the Lady Hawks. This was mainly attributable to their big girl in the middle, Jenene McKinney. She was thwarting Lady Hawks shooters on defense and on her end, sticking back miscues by team mates.
Middleton was up 17-9 at halftime.
As in the first period, both teams were getting good looks, but they were not dropping for Holly High. With four minutes into the second period, the Lady Hawks were still in the single digits. The Lady Hawks got some contribution from Katia Isom and they inched up on the Lady Tigers’ lead. Time was not on the side of the Lady Hawks. Middleton slowed the pace, held onto the ball and left with a 29-22 victory.
McKinney score 10 for Middleton and JaShanta Walker had eight for the Lady Hawks.
Middleton falls to Lady Lions, again
The Lady Tigers’ coach requested a rematch with the Lady Lions and Coach Thompson granted his wish. And at first glance, it appeared if the Lady Tigers’ coach was going to exact his revenge. It was nip and tuck throughout the first half. One would think that this was not a “no glory” summer game the way these two were going at each other. With five minutes remaining in the first, the Lady Tigers were pressing hard. They were forcing Lady Lions turnovers and moved to a 21-15 lead when the half ended.
It was to the Lady Lions’ credit that they never came unglued. They took the turnovers in stride and kept running the ball straight at the Lady Tigers. Rachel Jones and Amanda Jones were stifling the Lady Tigers in the backcourt. Amanda was pulling the defense out with an occasional three and Rachel was splitting the defense with speed up the middle. They tied it at 29 and then took the lead on a three-point cushion by Amanda.
The Lady Tigers could not take the lead again. They dropped the rematch 38-33.
Amanda Jones and Rachel Jones led the Lady Lions with scores of 16 and 11, respectively.
McKinney led the Lady Tigers with 11.
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