Thursday, November 26, 2009
By CLAUDE VINSON
The H.W. Byers Lady Lions hosted the Lady Indians of Byhalia to renew their intra-county rivalry on November 17 and both entered 2-0.
The teams are playing in new classifications this season – Byers is now a 1A member and Byhalia moved up to 4A. Classes and divisions aside, when these two meet each is looking for bragging rights.
The tip went to Byers and Kyra Gulledge and Alexis Hardaway wasted no time in taking the fight to the undefeated Lady Indians. They had an 11-1 lead in the first two minutes of play. Hardaway was breaking into the lane and picking up the close-in baskets with Gulledge playing cleanup. They ran the first period score to 21-5.
The Lady Indians were experiencing the same difficulties in the second which plagued them in the first. The shots just weren’t connecting. The Lady Lions were manning a defense which was difficult to penetrate. Lady Indian Erica Bougard was the only one having any success. But her contribution was not enough to slow the running tide of the Lady Lions’ transition game. When the horn sounded the halfway mark, Byers had a commanding lead at 41-20.
The Lady Lions were not slacking the pace. Midway through the third quarter, they doubled the score at 50-25 and finished the frame at 60-29.
Neither team had any success with the long ball, but Byers won the battle at the free throw line. The Lady Indians scored nine points in the third which paled in comparison to the 19 from the Lady Lions.
Byers added another 22 in the fourth to cruise to the 82-36 finish.
Hardaway led the charge with 29, followed by Gulledge with 21, Kourtney Coleman with 11 and Precious Rodgers with 10. Gulledge also had 18 rebounds and five blocks.
Byhalia was led by Bougard with 18 and Crystal Rayford with 12.
Lions fall to Indians
The rivalry continued in the nightcap with both the Lions and Indians seeking their first win of the season.
The Indians took an early three-point lead. But Andre Jones got a three the old fashioned way and then Marcus Rayford popped a trey to put Byers out front. The home team managed to eke out a one-point lead at 15-14 to close the first frame.
The visitors took control quickly in the second period, due in part to the athleticism of Kenyatta Jones who gave his side of the bleachers a runaway dunk and his team a four point lead. They rounded it up to a five-point difference of 34-29 at intermission.
The Indians were repelling any and all threats which the Lions made to their lead in the third. They were maintaining a four- to six-point margin until Rayford hit his second trey. Coredarrius Stone tied it and then gave the Lions the lead with a three the old way. Byers was in front 48-47 at the end of the third quarter.
The final period turned into a wild run and gun fest. K. Jones and Courtney Warren took the reins for Byhalia. Shortly thereafter, teammates Jamal Jones and Alfonzo Wilson unsheathed their hatchets. In a matter of minutes the Indians had built an 11-point lead. They held on to make the most of it for a 77-68 win.
The Indians had four shooters in double figures. Warren was high with 19, and next was K. Jones with 18, J. Jones with 11 and Wilson with 10.
Rayford led Byers with 19. Shantez Hearn pitched in 12 and Stone was close behind with nine.
Byhalia also hosts a holiday tournament this week, November 27-28. The Lady Indians and Indians play DeSoto Central Friday, starting at 5 p.m., and then face Holly Springs Saturday, starting at 5 p.m.
Byers squads played in the Tishomingo County Tournament Monday and Tuesday of this week. They finish out the week in the Tennessee Turkey Jam.
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