Thursday, November 11, 2010
Lady Indians win opener for new coach
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Byhalia Lady Indians opened their 2010-11 campaign on the hardwood with a victory over the visiting Independence Lady Wildcats Saturday night.
The game was the first outing for new head coach Renee Crenshaw, who was hired over the summer. Coach Crenshaw comes from Southwind High School in Memphis, Tenn., where she had coached for six years.
This was the season opener for both teams and the tip went to Byhalia. Megan Rayford put the Lady Indians on the board quickly from the charity stripe. Both teams were a bit erratic and missed few close-in baskets. The score was tied and a three-point stalemate lasted a few minutes before Erica Bougard and Rayford adjusted the thermostat. They teamed up and engineered a few takeovers which had the Lady Indians in front 15-5 in the first six minutes of the opening frame. Even with subs, the lead grew to 23-7 at quarter’s end.
The Lady Wildcats picked up their game in the second frame. Their shots started to fall and they were getting to the line often. They soon narrowed the gap to 28-21. Both teams were showing plenty hustle and were seemingly prepared to scrap. They were not afraid to hit the floor. Independence was settling down and with 1:25 had cut the Byhalia lead to three at 30-27. At half-time, it was 33-29.
The Lady ’Cats came out clawing in the third and took the lead for the first time at 38-37 on a turnaround bucket by Jerricka Cole. Both teams shot selection and accuracy had improved and the scores were growing.
Byhalia had grabbed the lead by one point at the end of the third at 51-50.
Coach Crenshaw was a study in animation as she verbally pushed the Lady Indians on in the fourth quarter. And it was slice and dice time for Bougard. She was definitely reprising her role from last season. She unleashed her three ball and gave Byhalia a 16-point lead before retiring.
The Lady Indians then coasted to a 76-69 win.
Bougard led the floor and her team with 20 points. Rayford threw in 16 and Sandricka Sessom pitched in 15.
The visitors were led by Cole with 18, followed by Camia O’neal with 14 and Jasmine Newsom with 10.
Byhalia’s next outing was Tuesday at Ashland. They then visit H.W. Byers next Tuesday, Nov. 16.
Indians fall one short versus Independence
The Indians also welcomed a new head coach for the 2010-11 season. Donald Bryant was hired to take the reins of the squad. Bryant said he has been in the coaching business for about a dozen years and he brings some credit with him. Bryant won a state championship with the 1A East Lowndes County girls in 2004. He sat out the 2009-10 season.
The Indians followed the Lady Indians in their Saturday night contest against Independence. At the start of the game neither team seemed timid about shooting the long ball. None were falling but they were still letting them fly. Neiko Simmons put the visitors on the board first with a fast break.
Then Labrandon Walker hit his trey and he was followed immediately with one from Angelo Powell and the Indians were off and running. This put the Indians ahead at 16-13.They were still ramping it up at quarter’s end with a 21-16 mark.
The Wildcats made a battle of it in the second quarter with Antwan Cathey leading the way. He was doing most of his damage on the inside. Aiding by the play making efforts of Jeral Avant they were just one point behind the hosts at intermission with the score at 33-32.
The Wildcats opened the second half with a trey and due to cold shooting by the Indians quickly took an eight-point lead. Byhalia was down by seven points and their crowd in a quiet lull until Kenyatta Jones broke away for two consecutive dunks. He stuck another running lay-up to move his team within one at 52-51. A Wildcat was fouled and went to the line and completed one of two to make it 53-52 after three.
The fourth frame turned into a basket-for-basket contest with the one-point lead flipping back and forth. It came down to a three-point difference in the favor of the visitors with 40 seconds remaining. Courtney Warren knotted it with a trey but a Byhalia foul sent Independence to the line. The shooter canned one of two. The Indians had just one chance to deny Independence the victory and it failed. The Wildcats won 72-71.
Jones led the Indians and all shooters with 23. Next was Warren with 15, and Powell rounded out the scoring in the double figures range with 11.
Scoring high for the visitors was Avant with 20. Cathey had 19 and Simmons 13.
The Indians. next game was at Ashland Tuesday. They play at H.W. Byers next Tuesday, Nov. 16.
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