Thursday, December 24, 2009
Lady Lions break with 13-3 record
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Lady Lions of H.W. Byers continued their winning ways Monday night, Dec. 14, against perennial foe Ingomar.
The Lady Falcons usually give the Lady Lions a real test, but this one Byers solved easily.
From the tip, which fell into Lady Lions claws, the pace was slow. Three-fourths of the quarter had expired and the score was knotted at 2. Byers didn’t appear to have its usual rhythm. The last couple of minutes saw the Lady Lions finding some of their composure and finding the bottom of the basket. They put up 14 unanswered points to leave the Lady Falcons behind 17-3.
Ingomar’s big girl in the paint was in foul trouble early and had to sit. Normally a harassing figure in the paint, Shelly Grisham was being fronted by Alexis Hardaway and Kyra Gulledge, who were blocking her out and denying her opportunities for offensive rebounds. But the Lady Lions still had not found that even flow with which they usually operate. They still had a healthy distance of 28-12 at intermission.
The Byers girls slowly pulled away in the third. They were getting plenty of rebounding help from Gulledge who was asserting herself in the lanes at both ends. Additionally, Kourtney Coleman was taking it to the hoop with great success. She was also effective at the charity stripe. Although it was not their usual brand of basketball, the Lady Lions enjoyed a 44-22 point spread after the third was completed.
Foul trouble caught up with the Lady Falcons early in the final frame. Grisham left the floor for good with her fifth foul and Reid Little followed soon thereafter. This left a gaping hole in the Ingomar operation. The Lady Lions cruised to a 61-33 win.
Leading the Byers effort were Coleman with 16, Hardaway with 15 and Precious Rodgers with 10 and Gulledge with eight.
Lions lose to Falcons
This game would present the Lions with a monumental task – stopping the cooperation between Zach Carnell and Matt Purvis of the Falcons. Carnell controls the paint like a warden and Purvis patrols the perimeter looking for the easy shot and providing an outlet for Carnell’s passes.
Both teams started off playing above the rims. They were exhibiting blazing speed and attacking the baskets relentlessly. This was fast and furious basketball. Ingomar was in charge of the first quarter at 23-14.
In the second, Byers’ Jeremy Williams came totally alive and began making forays to the basket, going under and around Carnell. At one point his play cut the Falcon lead to five. Marcus Rayford joined the fray and tied it at 39 all with two freebies. Ingomar scored a deuce at the buzzer to take the lead again at 41-39.
Williams became even more intrepid in the third and seemed to be playing with some special radar. He gave the Lions their first lead of the game at45-43. There was great hustle from both squads and the Falcons (10-2) came back once more and closed the frame with a one point lead at 49-48.
The Falcons’ coach became visibly upset when his team’s lead was cut to five in the fourth. But the Lions were sending Ingomar to the line regularly and their shooters weren’t missing. They had hit 10 of 12 attempts in the first half. Overall, they hit 23 of 26. They went on to defeat the Lions 75-61.
Williams pumped in 32 for the hosts, followed by Rayford with 18 and Shantez Hearn with eight.
Byers vs. Ashland
Byers teams also split their games on Tuesday of last week at Ashland.
The Lady Lions struggled but won, 48-34.
“We played probably the worse game I’ve ever seen us play,” coach Jason Thompson said.
Hardaway and Gulledge scored 12 and 10 points each for the Byers girls, who improved to 13-2 on the season.
Ieshia Bolden scored 10 for Ashland.
The Lady Lions were up 23-18 at the half.
The Byers boys saw their record drop to 3-10 as the fell 73-48 to the Devils.
The Lions were down 27-22 at halftime and got outscored 23-9 in the third and 28-12 in the fourth.
Williams led Byers with 16 points. Hearn had 15.
Byers in Memphis
H.W. Byers squad battled big schools Saturday in the Jack Jones Classic Saturday at Memphis.
The Lady Lions challenged a strong Millington team and dropped a 54-44 decision.
Millington improved to 12-1. Byers’ record went to 13-3.
Hardaway and Gulledge led the Lady Lions with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Millington outscored Byers 32-12 in the second and third quarters combined to take a commanding 47-23 lead going into the final quarter.
The Byers boys were faced with an even stiffer challenge. They lost 93-41 to powerful Melrose.
The Lions fell behind 24-7 after one quarter and trailed 55-16 at halftime.
Unbeaten Melrose improved to 12-0. Byers’ mark fell to 3-11.
Williams scored over half of the Lions’ points. He finished with 24.
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