Thursday, November 17, 2011
Lady Lions down 6A foe
By BARRY BURLESON
The small school beat the big one in a battle of Super 10 girls basketball teams Saturday.
Class 1A H.W. Byers showed the “will of a champion,” coach Jason Thompson said, and knocked off Class 6A Columbus 62-58 in the Newton Classic. The Lady Lions are ranked sixth in the Clarion-Ledger’s top 10 teams statewide. The Lady Falcons are eighth.
“It was an extremely physical game,” said Thompson, whose team improved to 2-0. “My kids kept competing and pulled it out in the fourth quarter. It was a back-and-forth game.”
The game also featured two Dandy Dozen players – Alexis Hardaway for Byers and Kiandria Patterson for Columbus. Hardaway finished with 18 points and Patterson had 15.
Thompson said his Lady Lions “got beat up worse” in the game, which included a knee injury suffered by Hardaway. He said she was double- and triple-teamed throughout. She was knocked to the floor in the third quarter and took a bad fall.
“It didn’t make me feel too good,” he said. “She still played predominantly the whole fourth quarter. Then immediately after the game, we iced it down for the four-hour bus ride home.
“It’s not as bad as the injury last year (one to her other knee which sidelined her for 21 games), but it’s sore and stiff.”
“It was sort of like they (Columbus) won the war, but we won the game.”
The Byers girls were up 16-15 after one quarter, 29-26 at the half, 45-43 following three.
Also in double digits for the Lady Lions were Kyra Gulledge with 17 and Justice Martin with 12.
Maggie Pruitt scored 30 to lead the Lady Falcons. Twenty of those came from the free-throw stripe.
Columbus shot 30 free throws in the game and H.W. Byers six.
“My girls showed the heart of a lion,” Thompson said about his defending state champions. “That attests to the success we’ve had. As long as they keep believing as a unit, we will continue to have success. It was a maximum team effort – very encouraging.”
The H.W. Byers basketball teams swept Independence on the road in their season openers Monday night, Nov. 7.
Coach Trey Lawrence’s Lions tipped off the campaign by defeating the Wildcats 70-63.
Jarvis Jones blistered the nets for 26 points. Anthony Mabon and Chris Echols added 17 and 14, respectively.
Byers fell behind 16-8 after one quarter but got hot in the second period, outscoring the home team 23-11.
The Byers girls were on cruise control in a 74-41 victory over the Lady Wildcats.
They led 40-19 at halftime.
Abria Gulledge was the top gun with 18 points. Also hitting for double digits were Martin with 16, Hardaway with 12 and Richenda Crutcher with 10.
Byers teams hosted Ashland Tuesday. They visit Holly Springs Friday, with the girls game starting at 6 p.m.
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