Thursday, February 21, 2008
Lions knock off Urchins, Bearcats
By CLAUDE VINSON
The H.W. Byers Lions turned back the Urchins of East Union on Tuesday night of last week and then played a nail-biter against Baldwyn in the semis.
Byers’ play was a little erratic in the first quarter on Thursday night in the Region 1-2A Tournament. The results were frequent turnovers. This allowed the Bearcats to outdistance them by 10 points when the first frame ended (18-8).
In the second, the host Lions began to match ball control with their speed. The results were different this time. They produced more points. They had worn the Bearcats’ double-digit lead down to three. The Lions then took the lead for the first time with less than two minutes to play in the half. There were a couple of lead swaps with Baldwin being out front 34-32.
With the seconds speeding rapidly by, Justin Owens pulled the trigger on a three just clicks before the clock keeper pressed the halftime buzzer. Byers went into intermission with the lead at 35-34.
The Lions just plainly outran the Bearcats in the third. They put up 15 points to seven for the Bearcats and had their largest lead of the game at 50-41.
The fourth quarter got to be wild and wooly. The lead flip- flopped constantly. The teams were matching each other almost point for point. In the last two minutes, it came down to who would be more accurate at the charity stripe. Baldwyn sent Marvin Rayford to the line seven times. He canned six of them.
The Bearcats tried hard to claw their way back to the top but Byers just wasn’t having it. They went on to win the semi contest 65-61.
After the game, head coach Sylvester Kilgore was asked what his strategy was when he called for time in the last minute and a half.
“I told them that we had to control the ball and stay focused,” he said. “We hadn’t been getting a lot of calls. So we knew we had to keep going to the basket and use our superior speed.”
Owens led the Lions with 22, followed by Rayford with 21 and T.W. Bryson with 12.
Dorian Berry was high man for the Bearcats with 17; next was Andrew Shelton with 13 and Kamryn Muhammad with 10.
The Lions went on to face New Site in the finals.
In the 64-56 win in round one over East Union, Owens poured in 21 points. Demarius Scott added 14 and Rayford 12.
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