Thursday, December 22, 2011
Byers sweeps Byhalia
By CLAUDE VINSON
Anyone in Marshall County will gladly tell you that the contests between the schools in Marshall County are high entertainment.
And that premise was proven again Tuesday, Dec. 13, in the Lions’ Den. And this is one of the best of the county rivalries, Byers and Byhalia. It matters not that they are a couple of degrees apart in the state classifications, these are pride games.
It has become increasingly difficult to beat the Lady Lions on their home court. This night it would be no different.
Abria Gulledge opened scoring for Byers from long range, and then the score ballooned to 12-4 from there. The Lady Lions were getting the max from their motion offense. They continued to shoot lights out in the first quarter and went up 23-10.
There was just no taming these Lady Lions in the second period. Dandy Dozen player, Alexis Hardaway, became a literal driving force. She was burning the lane up even in heavy opposition. She scored 18 points in the first half and the Lady Lions were up 43-20 at the half.
The Lady Lions were taking advantage of all of the Lady Indians’ miscues after the break and turning them into points. Byhalia was held to two points in the third and Byers recorded 23 (66-22).
Byhalia was not able to stop the roaring Lady Lions in the final period although scoring was much better. The Lady Lions waltzed to an 87-39 victory.
Four shooters posted big numbers for the 8-3 Lady Lions – Hardaway with 21, Kyra Gulledge with 18, A. Gulledge with 14 and Justice Martin with 11. Dominique Rubin rounded it out with nine.
Quanisha Grayson hit 14 for the Lady Indians and Kimberly Reed pitched in 10.
Lions complete sweep
The Indians registered the first five points and Jamerson Eull excited the packed house when he slammed the next two. The Indians ran up an 11-2 lead before the Lions began to roar. They took the momentum from the visitors on back-to back-treys from Anthony Mabon and Chris Echols and owned a 16-13 lead briefly. Mabon stuck another one from long distance and they were up by three again (19-16) at the end.
Both squads upped the tempo and the hosts were maintaining a thin lead through hustle. Byers kept the heat turned up and at one point enjoyed a 13-point difference. But the Indians put on the war paint, hacked the lead down to four (43-39) just as the horn sounded for intermission.
Byers walked out in front again in the third, going to double digits. But the Indians made another surge, reducing it to four again and that would be the mark (55-51) going into the final frame.
One could sense that the Indians were planning to let the arrows fly in the ending stanza of this long-standing rivalry. Dandrick Fifer tied it at 55 early and DarionCunningham unknotted it a shot later with a trey. It was tied twice more and the Indians had a one point lead once and the Lions had one at 66-65 in less than a minute. It was touch-and-go until Jarvis Jones stuck one back in heavy traffic to give Byers the 69-65 win.
Leading the heavy hitting for Byers was Mabon with 22, Jones with 14, Echols with 13 and Cunningham with 10.
Fifer led Byhalia with 18, followed by Pat Stevenson with 16, Eull with 10 and Demarcus Confer with nine.
Byers will host the Magic City Showdown on December 22-23 (girls only) in which Byhalia will participate (see schedule in separate story this week).
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