Thursday, December 8, 2011
Byers sweeps 6A foe
By BARRY BURLESON
H.W. Byers’ boys coach Trey Lawrence said it best concerning last week’s wins by the Lions and Lady Lions over Olive Branch.
“Anytime a 1A beats a 6A, it’s a big deal,” he said.
His Lions beat the big school Conquistadors 69-63, Tuesday, Nov. 29, while coach Jason Thompson’s Lady Lions downed the visitors from DeSoto County 58-47.
“Beating a 6A school speaks volumes for your program,” Thompson said. “It let’s everyone know you’re on the right path. That’s why I prefer a tough schedule; it prepares you for the stretch run.”
The Byers boys trailed by five at the half but turned up the heat in the third quarter – outscoring the Conquistadors 20-9.
“We put a lot more pressure on the basketball with our man-to-man defense, and we took it away from them a bunch,” Lawrence said. “It was a solid quarter for us.”
Three Lions scored in double digits – A.J. Mabon with 21, Jarvis Jones with 17 and Chris Echols with 12. All three are juniors. Mabon, the point guard, also dished out seven assists.
“The thing that impressed me the most was the way we shared the basketball,” Lawrence said. “We had 17 assists (as a team).
“It was a complete effort. I couldn’t be more pleased.”
The Lions, playing a rugged scheduled, evened their early-season mark at 2-2. They’re coming off Lawrence’s first season at the school (2010-11) that started slowly but finished with a strong playoff run.
“We’re trying to get our rotations down,” he said. “The majority of these kids played for me last year, and we’ve been able to execute well. We want to survive and get better. Our district is as tough as any in the state.”
District foes include the likes of Coldwater, Myrtle, Ingomar and Ashland.
The Lady Lions bounced back from three losses against strong competition the weekend before as they knocked off Olive Branch by 11.
“The girls did a solid job,” Coach Thompson said, “largely because we closed it out (for the win).”
The Lady Lions led by only one entering the third quarter and then outscored the Lady Conquistadors 18-8 in the fourth.
Seniors Alexis Hardaway and Kyra Gulledge led the offense with 17 and 15 points, respectively.
The Byers girls upped their season mark to 5-3.
Byers vs. Coffeeville
H.W. Byers basketball squads wrapped up the successful week with another sweep Friday night, this one at Coffeeville.
Five Lions scored in double digits as they clobbered Coffeeville 84-61.
Mabon led the way with 19. He also had 10 assists and five steals.
Other top point producers were Jones with 15, Herrandus Washington with 12, Echols with 11 and Jahkel Scott with 10.
Byers moved in front 18-8 after one quarter, but was up by just one at the half. The Lions then outscored the home team 48-26 in the second half to win by 23.
The Lady Lions led by just eight at halftime but turned it up a notch in the second half. They rolled to an 87-52 win at Coffeeville.
Four Lady Lions scored in double figures – Hardaway with 22, Kyra Gulledge with 21, Laniqua Collins with 11 and Abria Gulledge with 10.
The Byers girls outscored Coffeeville 47-21 in the second half.
The Lions (3-2) and the Lady Lions (6-3) visited Olive Branch this past Tuesday. They host county rival Potts Camp Friday. Next Tuesday, Dec. 13, they host another county rival, Byhalia.
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