Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008
By CLAUDE VINSON
A Benton-Marshall rivalry which dates back many years was renewed for the 2008-09 basketball season. Whenever teams from across the county lines meet, you can bet that there will be a contest.
The Ashland-Byhalia girls game November 18 took on a speedy format from the outset. The guards from both teams set the tempo for this one. They were blazing up and down the court with the host Lady Blue Devils having the better accuracy in the first frame giving them a 15-8 lead at its end.
In the second quarter the Lady Devils continued the use of a “box and one” and spreading it wide. The Lady Indians were experiencing difficulty slowing the penetration. However, Byhalia did pull to within one point twice and then struck quickly with five unanswered points. Tameshia Davis, who had just entered the game, watched the clock and fired one a split second in front of the buzzer to put the visitors ahead 25-24 at intermission.
It was pretty much a standoff in the third quarter with Kiana Jones (Ashland) and Erica Bougard (Byhalia) trying to match each other point for point. It ended in a tie of 32 all to finish the third frame.
The final quarter saw a decisive pull away by the hosts. The attack was led by Sandricka Bowen, who was playing with a brace on her left leg. She and Jones combined to run up an 11-point margin. Laporshea Malone left the bench for Byhalia and single-handedly cut the lead to six. This was indeed reminiscent of the games of old.
The Lady Indians cut it to two with scant seconds left on the clock. They sent Bowen to the line. Pressure on, she canned both. Crystal Rayford gave Byhalia another chance at the charity stripe. She cut it back to two, again. Bowen was granted another trip on an in-bound foul. She hit both. It ended on that note with the Lady Devils getting the victory at 57-53.
Bougard led Byhalia with 16. Behind her was Rayford with 11.
Jones threw in 18 for the home team with Bowen joining in with 15.
Byhalia bests Blue Devils
In the nightcap it was still county versus county. And for the first five minutes, the Ashland Blue Devils were feasting on Indiana. The 1A Blue Devils (2A State Champs in ’96-97) ran out to a 9-6 lead. But the Indians starting firing the three ball and bounced back to take a 14-13 lead at the quarter’s end.
The Indians made a run for it in the second. They began working the boards and their stick backs resulted in a 29-23 half time difference.
The third was a loud and raucous quarter with the cacophonous din resounding from the rafters. The Devils had been in the hole by six points when Darius Duke brought them even with a pair of treys, back to back. The 41-all tie didn’t stand that long because Kenyatta Jones swung it back to the Indians with a three and two freebies. The third ended with the Indians in control 48-41.
Jones was feeling his Wheaties. He hit his fourth and fifth treys within the first minute of the last frame. That gave the Indians a 13-point margin which they never lost. The Blue Devils did not shrink away from the fray. They battled to the very end but the fire power of the Indians was too much. The final was 68-52.
Jones led the Indians with 19.
Ted Parker led the Devils with 12. Jeremy Williams was next with 10 and Duke had nine from three treys.
Byhalia teams hosted Olive Branch Saturday night (after an early press deadline). The Byhalia boys will play in the Riverbend Classic this weekend at New Madrid, Mo.
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