Thursday, December 11, 2008
Lady Lions, Indians, Lady Devils, Rebels win in semis
By CLAUDE VINSON
The H.W. Byers Lady Lions put five players in double figures to usher in the second slate of games in the Bi-County Tournament.
H.W. Byers was in complete control all the way. The Lady Lions never trailed and were never threatened. They appeared to be completely at ease with the arena at Ashland High School. One would think that they were playing at home. They ended the first quarter 29-9.
The halftime score was 50-17 and at this time head coach Jason Thompson was subbing entire teams. The Holly Springs Lady Hawks were trying to make some noise behind JaShanta Walker and Tamekico Johnson, who were getting some close-in hits but it was not really closing a 46-point gap. The score at the end of three was 82-27.
The Lady Lions reserves preserved the status quo. And it was clear that the Lady Hawks came to this hatchet fight sans hatchets. It was destined to become a clock buster and it did. Amanda Jones stuck one back in the last seconds to make it a 100-37 game.
Symone Gorman crushed the nylon for 29; Ciarra Seldon hit 19 with five treys. Kourtney Coleman and Amanda Jones followed with 16 each with Rachel Jones rounding it out with 10.
Byers was headed to their third straight Bi-County title contest.
JaShanta Walker hit 18 for the Lady Hawks.
Byhalia returns to finals
The Byhalia Indians were trying to reprise their role from last season in the Bi-County when they won it all. They would have to get past Holly High after enjoying a “bye” in the first round. The Hawks won the first two tournaments and then went on to win back-to-back state titles.
This was the first meeting this season between the two. When asked if the Indians had any special plans for the Hawks’ game, Coach Mike Neal said, “We hope to outshoot them.”
Apparently, the Hawks had the same intentions. The scoring was neck and neck and it was war beneath the baskets. Holly High won both the shooting battle and rebounding war and was on top 17-14 after one.
Holly High had the intermission lead also at 28-24. The Indians took that lead after the third – at 40-38.
In the fourth, the Indians tried to lull the Hawks into over committing, but lost the ball in a mix-up underneath. The score was tied at 48-all with 1:24 left when Holly High called time. Byhalia went to the line on a one-and-one but couldn’t take advantage. However, Mario Parker was sent back to the line on another one-and-one. He missed the first and Coach Naylond Hayes called time in hopes of icing the shooter. The tactic failed and the Indians won 49-48.
Parker led Byhalia with 14, helped by Courtney Warren with 13 and Josh Rodgers with eight.
Shermaine Jones paced Holly High with 10, while Darius Dowdy and Timothy Oliver had nine and eight, respectively.
Lady Blue Devils win 48-46
In the third game of Day 2, the Lady Indians were trying to get back to finals. They had won there in 2005.
It was a low-scoring affair at intermission with Ashland leading 20-19.
In the third Byhalia swung the pendulum to their end of the court and ran up a seven-point lead. The Lady Devils had to erase an eight-point Lady Indian lead. They took a one-point lead but couldn’t hold it. Sandricka Bowen went to work for the Lady Devils and tied it at 44. With time fading fast, it turned into a fouling match. The Lady Devils got the better of the trips to the charity stripes and earned the 48-46 win.
Bowen led the winners with 16, aided by Kiana Jones with 12.
Crystal Rayford led the Lady Indians with 12. Laporshea Malone threw in nine.
Hickory Flat ousts Byers
The last game of the day on Friday would be to see who would meet the Byhalia boys in the finals on Saturday. Hickory Flat ran out to a quick lead at 15-11. The Rebels got their crowd in it early when Zavian Adams slammed with both hands. But Byers started pelting the nylon and took a two-point lead at the half 34-32.
This didn’t seem to bother the Rebels, who had their sights set on winning number 12 on the season and moving on to the finals. They got rid of Byers’ lead and then went up by seven. The score was 52-35 at the end of three.
The Rebels developed a 14-point lead in the fourth and never looked back. They went on to the 72-57 victory.
Tedarian Bryson had 21 for Byers, and Fred Jones had nine.
Caleb Van Tassel had 18 for the Rebels. Tavis Bell had 16; Tyler Reed had 11; and Terry Lee led with 19.
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