Thursday, February 19, 2009
Lady Lions win district
By BARRY BURLESON
It was a welcome sight.
Jason Thompson watched the return of his team’s stifling defense as the H.W. Byers Lady Lions suffocated New Site in the second quarter Friday night. They took control of the Region 1-2A championship game and went on to win 67-52. The defending state champs improved to 28-3 on the year.
“That was the defense that got us to 24-0,” said Coach Thompson, referring to his team’s unbeaten streak through late January. “It was an all-around good game, all parties involved.”
The Lady Lions found themselves down by nine after one quarter. But the defense sparked a 18-0 run to start the second and Byers outscored New Site 23-6 in the period.
“We came out of a 19-10 hole, and that was huge for us,” Thompson said. “That gave us a lot of momentum going into the locker room and we held on in the second half with smart offense and continued solid defense.”
Three Lady Lions hit for double digits – Amanda Jones with 18, Kourtney Coleman with 17 and Rachel Jones with 15.
Byers, which received a first round bye, clobbered the Baldwyn Lady Bearcats 77-55 in the semi-finals Thursday night.
Symone Gorman was the top gun with 26. Rachel Jones was close behind with 21.
“Thursday night, we had a couple of individuals who had big games,” Thompson said. “Friday night, it was a total team effort.”
The Lady Lions led Baldwyn 17-10 after on quarter, 40-30 at halftime and 56-41 following three periods.
The Byers girls hosted West Bolivar in a do-or-die game Monday night to open North Half play. With a win, they will move on to the north’s “final eight” starting Thursday.
“We have to win and keep rolling,” Thompson said. “I feel good about our chances if we can carry over the momentum we established last weekend.”
The top three finishers in the north advance to the Class 2A State Tournament at Jackson.
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