Thursday, December 29, 2011
Holiday hoops at Byers
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Lady Indians were seeking their second victory in the Magic Citi Showdown when they faced the Lady Tigers of Manassas High School of Memphis, Tenn.
The teams traded baskets all during the opening quarter Friday at H.W. Byers High School with Byhalia leading most of the way. The Lady Tigers scored back-to-back deuces to bring the first period to an 18-14 close in their favor.
In the second, the Lady Tigers began taking the fight to the paint. Tiffany Jones was doing the most damage on the inside, using her tall, lanky frame to turn multiple stick-backs. They managed to blaze a 16-point difference (37-21) at intermission.
The Lady Tigers became tenacious in the third quarter. They started to pour it on thick. At one point they had a 23-point margin. The gap was still a big one at the end, 51-31.
Everything was still working for Manassas in the close-out frame. The Lady Tigers’ defense held the Lady Indians to five points the entire period while they posted 14. They rolled on to the 65-36 victory.
Latara Jones had a good game for Byhalia (9-5), scoring 14 points. Shandricka Sessom was held to eight.
Manassas player Tiffany Jones led the field with 28 while her teammate, Jamie Bond, hit 12.
H.W. Byers girls
The Lady Lions, still short-handed because of an ankle injury to standout player Alexis Hardaway, met a very strong team in their final game of the Magic Citi Showdown Friday.
The Lady Warriors of Memphis Central displayed an array of weapons in their battle with the Lady Lions. The pace was fast from the opening bell. The Lady Warriors hit a trey and a deuce for the first five points. Byers countered and took the lead. Then control of the ball became an issue and Central took a 14-10 lead after the first period.
The Lady Lions were still not getting the looks which they needed. Central’s Nina Davis was blowing by defenders on the right and points were beginning to mount. The Lady Warriors were also applying heavy pressure on the ball and they were not throwing up many bricks. They were up 39-18 at the break.
The Lady Lions were being kept away from the ball at both ends. And the errors continued to pile up. Byers was looking at a 30-point deficit with 1:30 remaining in the third. But as everyone knows the Lady Lions don’t quit. They mounted a comeback and trimmed the difference to 21 when the quarter ended at 53-32.
They battled on in the fourth quarter, trying hard to overcome the deficit. They hit about 70 percent of their freebies but it still was not enough to reduce the lead which the Lady Warriors had built. Memphis Central went on to win 66-47.
Kyra Gulledge led the Lady Lions (10-4) with 16, followed by Richenda Crutcher with 11 and Abria Gulledge with nine.
Davis led the floor with 21, backed up by 16 from Tia Wooten and 12 from Haliyah Whiteside.
The second annual Magic Citi Showdown had come to an end. There was some exciting basketball (all girls) played over the two-day period. There was much talent on display and some college coaches in attendance looking for prospects.
Teams were from Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Illinois. When the final horn sounded, just four teams had come through without a loss – Memphis Central, Manassas and Southwind, all three entries from Tennessee – and Horn Lake from Mississippi.
Kudos to the H.W. Byers family for staging such an outstanding event.
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