Thursday, February 18, 2010
Lady Lions win district
By BARRY BURLESON
The H.W. Byers Lady Lions claimed a district championship trophy for the third straight year Friday night.
Coach Jason Thompson’s squad turned back Myrtle for the Region 2-1A crown. The previous two district titles came in Class 2A, which was followed by back-to-back state championships.
The Byers boys also advanced to North State, finishing third in the district thanks to a Friday victory over Marshall County rival Potts Camp.
H.W. Byers appeared to put the game away by outscoring Myrtle 23-8 in the second quarter but then had to hang on for a 49-46 victory in the finals.
The second-quarter surge came after the Lady Lions fell behind 15-9 after one period.
Byers hit three of six free throws in the closing 24 seconds of the game to hold off a late Myrtle rally and seal the win.
Alexis Hardaway led the Lady Lions with a game-high 20 points, 17 of those coming in the first half.
They improved to 24-6 on the season.
Top-seeded Byers, who received a first-round bye, reached the title contest thanks to a 57-43 win over West Union on Thursday.
The Lady Lions carried a 31-25 lead to the fourth period, when they outscored the host school 26-17 and coasted to the victory.
Kourtney Coleman was the top gun with 15. Hardaway added 11.
“The girls played exteremely well in the tournament,” Thompson said. It was a tough environment, and we had to endure a lot of foul problems. The girls persevered and won, and it’s a true testament to to their determination. I’m very proud of them.”
The Lady Lions hosted Coffeeville Monday in the opening round of Class 1A North State. With a win, they advance to the quarter-finals Thursday at a site to be determined.
Coach Thompson’s Byers boys tipped off tournament play Tuesday of last week with a 63-39 rout of West Union.
Byers led 27-17 at halftime and put the game away with a 20-10 run in the third quarter.
Leading point producers were Marcus Rayford with 18 and Jeremy Williams with 11.
The Lions then fell to Myrtle 73-57 in the semi-finals Thursday evening. The Hawks went on to take the tournament championship.
Jeremy Williams lit up the scoreboard in the loss. He cashed in a game-high 29 points. Rayford had 10.
Byers was down 38-33 at the half. Myrtle outscored the Lions 20-11 in the fourth.
The Lions secured third place in Region 2-1A with a hard-fought, 61-55 win over Potts Camp Friday. It was their third win over the Cards this season.
Byers stormed to an early 16-7 lead and held on the rest of the way against a gutsy Cardinal squad.
Williams again had game-high honors with 26.
Scoring in double digits for Potts Camp were Johnathan Falkner with 14 and LaDarrius Beard with 11.
“The boys had a real good run in the tournament,” Thompson said. “We won two games to get the third seed and lost to probably the best team in Class 1A (Myrtle).”
The Lions (10-18) visited Coldwater Tuesday night in the first round of North State. With a win, they advance to the quarter-finals Thursday at a site to be determined.
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