Thursday, January 29, 2009
Lady Lions’ win streak ends
By BARRY BURLESON
Mississippi’s top-ranked team ventured across the state line to Tennessee Saturday and suffered its first loss of the season.
Coach Jason Thompson’s H.W. Byers Lady Lions (23-1) played in what he called a tough environment and fell 45-40 to Middleton.
Three of his players fouled out – Rachel Jones, Alexis Hardaway and Symone Gorman.
“It’s unfortunate that we had to go through it,” Thompson said, “but maybe there’s a silver lining behind it.”
Byers was just nine of 21 from the free-throw stripe, three of 13 in the first half.
Middleton shot 36 free throws and hit 26.
Byers led 32-28 going into the fourth quarter.
“They (Middleton) had one basket in the whole fourth quarter,” Thompson said, “but they were 15 of 19 from the free-throw line. We shot four free throws in the fourth.”
Top scorers for the Lady Lions were Rachel Jones with 10, Gorman with 10 and Amanda Jones with nine.
“It’s never good to lose, but it’s better in January than on down the road,” said Thompson, whose team is trying to repeat as Class 2A state champions.
The H.W. Byers boys also lost at Middleton, Tenn., on Saturday.
This week will be a busy one.
Byers teams were slated to visit Walnut Tuesday. They go to Belmont Friday.
The Lady Lions will play Class 5A Tupelo Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Ingomar High School in the Robinson Sportswear Classic.
“We can’t lick our wounds,” Thompson said. “We have to make sure we’re playing our best this week.”
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