Thursday, January 8, 2009
Northwest Ranger Classic
By CLAUDE VINSON
The H.W. Byers Lady Lions made their third trip to the holiday classic at Senatobia High School. They were matched against the Lady Cougars of North Panola December 29.
It was a pretty even outing in the first frame, both teams playing in a relaxed mode. Neither was in a hurry. They were trying for the best shots. The Lady Lions eased out to a six-point margin (16-10) at the end of the first quarter. North Panola had begun to miss often.
It wasn’t long after the start of the second quarter that the unbeaten Lady Lions made it clear that they were going to live up to their billing. It could have been much worse if coach Jason Thompson had fielded his first squad. The 3A Lady Cougars tried to maintain a competitive pace but constantly came up short. There was just no keeping up with the ball pushing tactics of Rachel and Amanda Jones. The score had jumped to 33-19 at intermission.
It didn’t get any cooler for North Panola in the third. Byers pushed it to 66-27.
The point gulf which had widened by 33 points in the third, spreading like a highly contagious disease, abated in the fourth. The Lady Lions slowed the pace, gave reserves valuable floor experience and still cruised to a 71-39 final score.
Amanda Jones led the floor with her 29 points, six steals, three assists and one block. Rachel Jones was next with 15, and Kourtney Coleman threw in nine.
Leading the Lady Cougars were Cantonya Newson with 12, Brittany Patton with 10 and playmaker Jelissa Linus with nine.
Lions fall to Coldwater
The Byers Lions drew the Cougars of Coldwater for their first assignment in the tournament. The Cougars made their statement early, speeding to a 6-0 lead within the first two minutes. They kept the Lions on their heels throughout the entire frame, winning it 18-10.
The Lions’ T.W. Bryson didn’t enter the court until the waning minutes of that first frame. This had made a marked difference in the rebounding for Byers. With Bryson’s production they were able to close the gap slightly. But the Cougars were intent upon keeping a safe distance. They ended the second quarter 39-29.
Byers was still having a truckload of problems with Coldwater’s up-tempo offense. They were grabbing their rebounds and Byers also. Additionally, they were getting far too many double takes. And to add insult to injury, Dominick Mason became a one man wrecking crew for the Cougars. He had already registered two slams and then with an “alley oop” assist from Jeremy Scott, he brought the highly partisan crowd to its collective feet. The third ended with Coldwater in the lead 66-41.
The fourth and final frame proved to be the most productive for the Lions but it was not nearly enough. The damage had been done in third. The Cougars won out 81-66.
Mason hit 30 points and Scott pitched in 13.
Bryson led the Lions with 22, followed by Demarius Scott with 19, Jarvis Ware with 12 and Fred Jones with eight.
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