Thursday, December 29, 2011
Holiday hoops at Byers
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Lady Indians took the floor in the second game of the Magic Citi Showdown at H.W. Byers on Thursday morning.
Coach Renee Crenshaw’s Byhalia girls were matched with the Lady Devils of Pearl River Central, a 5A school led by head coach Kevin Harris, who moved there a few years ago from the same role at Potts Camp.
Coach Harris said his team is very young, having only one senior on the squad. Plus, his leading scorer did not make the trip due to an illness.
The Lady Devils trailed Byhalia for all of the first period, being behind 17-10 at the end.
The Pearl River bunch packed its defense in tighter in the second and stopped Shandricka Sessom’s and Quanisha Grayson’s forays to the basket. Lady Devil Sabrina Miller set up shop from the right corner. Soon, behind her long balls, the Lady Devils had tied and passed the Lady Indians. It was knotted 21-21 at the half.
Scoring slowed for both sides in the second half. Byhalia, having fallen behind early in the third, began to inch closer, pulling to within two at one point (27-25). The Lady Lions posted four points and the Lady Devils eight for the 29-25 end of quarter stat.
It was going right down to the wire in the fourth quarter with Pearl River a point ahead when Sessom popped one from inside the lane. It gave the Lady Indians the one-digit edge. It was touchy after that with Grayson giving Byhalia the one-point edge in the end for the 41-40 finish.
Sessom recorded 17 for the winners aided by nine from Grayson.
Miller and 6’6” sophomore Jessica Powers shared high-point honors for Pearl River with17 and 15, respectively.
Lady Lions win
The Lady Lions and the Lady Spartans of White Station (Tenn.) had the last game on the first day of the Magic Citi Showdown.
The latter plays in the largest classification in Tennessee.
Both squads came out with full-court pressure. The Lady Lions didn’t relax into a zone until they achieved a 9-4 lead. Byers was fouled 10 times and all were shooting fouls. The Lady Lions made 60 percent of them and led 16-8 at the end of the first.
The Lady Spartans began their climb back during the second frame. The Lady Lions had some miscues and missed some more free throws. They were still holding a thin lead until Banks and Sanders hit a pair from long range. Those scores put them up by one (24-23) at intermission.
Byers brought pressure again in the third. They soon regained the lead with a diminutive Shadae Nolan leading a fast-paced charge. Her impressive play provided the impetus the Lady Lions needed with their Dandy Dozen player Alexis Hardaway nursing a severe ankle sprain on the sidelines. The Lady Lions surged back to a 35-29 lead.
The lady Lions went to a slow-down mode in the fourth with a spread offense. They used the clock, controlled the tempo and the ball. It allowed them to go on to the 43-36 victory.
Kyra Gulledge and Abria Gulledge led the Lady Lions with nine and eight, respectively.
Sanders led White Station with 12, followed by Robertson with eight.
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