December 2, 2010
Lady Lions lose two in Tennessee tourney
The H.W. Byers Lady Lions dropped a pair of games last weekend to strong opponents from Florida and Tennessee.
Coach Jason Thompson’s team lost by three to Oldsmar Christian Academy and by 15 to St. Benedict of Auburndale in the Tennessee Turkey Jam at Memphis Central.
“We played two very talented teams, but they were also two winnable games,” Thompson said. “We came up short, but it was a great learning experience.”
The Lady Lions trailed Oldsmar by 15 in the third quarter Friday but battled back to tie the Florida squad at 48 in the fourth. Byers lost 59-56.
“They outscored us 11-8 over the last two minutes,” Thompson said. “They made their free throws and we missed ours.”
For the game, the Lady Lions were a dismal 14 of 37 from the stripe.
“It’s simple,” he said. “If we make our free throws, we win the ball game. We have to figure out how to put the ball in the goal rather than throw it up there by the goal.”
Richenda Crutcher, a ninth grader, poured in a team-best 20 points for Byers. Kourtney Coleman, the team’s only senior, added 16. Junior Kyra Gulledge scored 11.
The next day the Lady Lions could not get on track and fell 56-41 to St. Benedict, a Memphis, Tenn., neighbor.
“We expended a lot of energy in that first game, and we were sloppy Saturday,” Coach Thompson said.
Byers was down 34-20 at the half and got outscored 19-12 in the third quarter.
Coleman finished with 16 points. Crutcher had 10.
Thompson said the Tennessee Turkey Jam helped his Lady Lions (4-3).
“We saw the things we need to get corrected,” he said. “Those were two needed games. Games like that, against stiff competition, will give our girls a chance to grow up faster.”
The prestigious event also gave his Lady Lions an opportunity to play in front of lots of college coaches.
“This was an exposure tournament - for our kids to be seen,” Thompson said. “It was great for them in their efforts to try and get recruited and better their lives at the next level.”
Byers does not play any games this week. It returns to action next Tuesday, Dec. 7, at home versus Blue Mountain.
“It’s a great time for break,” he said. “We need to get healthy. I have two or three with flu-like symptoms. This will give us a chance to get healthy and get better.”
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