Thursday, November 24, 2011
Lady Lions, Devils get wins in rivalry
By CLAUDE VINSON
The teams at H.W. Byers made their first homestand of the new season Tuesday night of last week. They met a neighbor from down the road but in a different county.
The Lady Lions were 3-0 after a successful road campaign.
The Lady Devils recorded the first points and were matching up well with the defending state champs in the 1A Class in both speed and ability. Kyra Gulledge, holding down the paint at the offensive end, had grabbed four rebounds in a matter of minutes. Byers soon took a four-point lead but the Lady Devils kept closing in. With K. Gulledge’s rebounding and stick-backs the Lady Lions left the first quarter with a 14-10 mark.
K. Gulledge became even more assertive in the second frame and soon had her team up 21-12. Byers’ perimeter shooters found their accuracy and moved the score to 26-12. Ashland was trying to stay in it, but the Lady Lions went on a points spree and had it 39-22 at the half.
The Lady Lions were still flooding the baskets in the third and coach Jason Thompson was running in reserves at will. Byers was going without one of its star players and Dandy Dozen representative, Alexis Hardaway, who was sidelined with an injury. Indubitably her particular expertise was missed, however, Byers led 57-31 at the end of three.
The Lady Devils were getting consistency from Alontra Tucker and Damertis Anderson but it was virtually two against five. The Lady Lions coasted to their fourth win with a score of 84-44.
K. Gulledge led the winning effort with 26, followed by Justice Martin and Abria Gulledge with 16 each.
Anderson threw in 19 for the Lady Devils and Tucker hit for 14.
Lions fall To Ashland
The nightcap was started with a lot of speed and hustle but little accuracy from either camp. The Devils eked out a three-point lead midway the quarter, but due to close-in play from Jarvis Jones and Marterrious Rayford, Byers tied it and had a two-point lead until Darius Dukes hit a jumper at the buzzer and made it 14-14.
The team traded baskets throughout the second frame. The Lions went to the line 16 times in the first half and only made good on seven of them. Conversely, the Devils made eight trips and hit 80 percent. They slowly moved out to a 30-26 margin with about three clicks left on the clock when Dukes launched one from another zip code. The Devils were 33-26 at intermission.
Ball control appeared to be a problem for the Lions in the early part of the third quarter. They were being hurt by turnovers. They settled down a bit and reduced the margin to four. After that the Lions were being trampled by a one player juggernaut. Dukes was slicing and dicing them. It was 51-40 at the end of three.
In the first minute and a half of the final frame, Byers trimmed the lead to seven before Ashland called a timeout. Shortly thereafter the officials halted play and the game was resumed about 15 minutes later. Apparently there were discrepancies in the record books.
Although the Lions had a 21-point quarter, the Devils held on with enough to win by 70-61.
Jones led Byers’ shooters with 23 points. Chris Echols shot for 13 and Anthony Mabon pitched in 10.
Mabon also had 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Dukes paced all shooters with 39. Gravis Scruggs had eight.
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