Thursday, January 28, 2010
Indians win, girls lose versus North Panola
By CLAUDE VINSON
The North Panola Lady Cougars roared into Indian territory on January 19 and jumped to a 7-0 early lead before Erica Bougard sank one for the home team.
She was also making fast-break opportunities for the Lady Indians. She turned Byhalia’s first six points with speedy trips to the basket. North Panola countered by setting Dash Montgomery on the left wing. She evaded defenses and knocked down a pair of treys to give Panola the 19-12 mark in the first quarter.
The Lady Cougars were fighting hard for defensive rebounds. They were not that effective on their breaks but Catonya Newson was penetrating and making the close-ins. Byhalia went on a scoring spurt and cut the Lady Cougars’ double-digit lead down to six at 30-24 at the half.
The visitors were not without credentials. They were 13-2 overall and had lost only one game to a district foe, Senatobia, for a 6-1 record. But Byhalia pulled to within two at the beginning of the third, then allowed Panola to retaliate with an 11-point lead via the collective efforts of Anna Johnson and Jeneshia Jackson. Byhalia was playing with intensity, but somehow Panola was circumventing the defense. They had the hosts by 10 at 43-33 at period’s end.
In the final frame, the Lady Indians were still hustling at 100 percent, however, they could not stop the forays of Newson and Brittany Patton. Both teams scored 11 apiece in the quarter and for the visitors it meant winning at 54-44.
Bougard and Briana Windham led the Lady Indians with 16 and nine, respectively.
Indians best Cougars
Both the Cougars and Indians appeared as if they had come to play and score. Neither was afraid to roll the dice. They were just not opting for the easy shot. They were going basket for basket. And Byhalia’s audience was vocally into the game and went raucously loud after Kenyatta Jones tied it at 14 with a running slam. Panola escaped the first round with the two-point lead at 16-14.
The point swapping continued into the second quarter. Four minutes in and the game had been tied five times. And the pace had not slackened. These guys were on roller skates. The Cougars made a few mistakes, which resulted in a three-point lead for the Indians. They spotted Panola two, then added eight more for themselves, the last two coming from a sleight-of-hand shot (in the old days, a double yo-yo) by Courtney Warren to make it 34-26 at intermission.
The Cougars went methodical on offense and man-to-man on defense. They had stopped their errors, but Byhalia was holding on to its five- to seven-point lead. Panola cut that to one, but Byhalia bounced back with four to make it 53-48 at quarter’s end.
In the fourth the Cougars wouldn’t go away and the Indians were finding it hard to put them away. Both squads deserve a ton of credit. It was a scrappy, exciting contest to the very end. Byhalia prevailed 69-66.
Jamerson Euell paced the Indians with 17. Next was Warren with 13, Thomas Lesueur with 11 and Alfonzo Wilson with eight.
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