February 17, 2011
If anyone in this area has been around high school basketball the last few years, there has to be an awareness of the match-ups between the Byers Lady Lions and the Myrtle Lady Hawks during playoff time.
Over these years the two teams have vied mightily with each other for the golden ticket to the Big House. They met again in the finals at Myrtle Saturday evening for the Region 2-1A championship.
The Myrtle Lady Hawks came out with a full court press. They hit a pair of threes before Byers scored. As the quarter progressed, they hit six unanswered points for a 16-10 first frame lead.
Play turned rough in the second frame. Myrtle went into the penalty early but was shooting less than 50 percent from the stripe. However, Aspriona Gilbert was ducking coverage and getting some predictable stick-backs. Her play in the paint was the reason for the two-point difference at halftime(28-26).
was a real battle in the third. When the smoke cleared, Byers was still
a single digit behind (42-41).
There was more of the same in the fourth quarter. The Lady Lions finally earned a four-point lead but had a turnover and then Jenna Jordan hit a trey from the corner to reduce it to one with 40 odd seconds left in regulation. Keanna Cox was fouled and made one of two for a tie at 48. The Lady Hawks had possession with 16 seconds left but couldn’t break it. It went into overtime.
In the overtime period, the basketball gods favored Byers. The Lady Lions, coached by Jason Thompson, pulled out the hard-fought victory, 54-52.
Byers had four sharpshooters in double figures – Kyra Gulledge and Alexis Hardaway with 13 each, and Abria Gulledge and Kourtney Coleman with 11 and 10, respectively.
Myrtle was led by Gilbert with 18.
Byers (23-8) was to host Falkner on Monday night and Myrtle was to host Pine Grove to kick off the North Half.
Lions outlast Cards
It all came down to gravy for two Marshall County teams looking for that golden ducat to the Big House. The Byers Lions and Potts Camp Cardinals had earned the right to contest each other in the finals at Myrtle on Saturday night.
To say that both teams had been looking forward to this game would perhaps be an understatement. Whether or not they were completely thrilled with meeting each other under these circumstances was another question. Both had some struggles throughout the season and to be playing in a contest of this magnitude with its possible implications had to be exhilarating.
The speed with which both squads opened the first period made them appear a little erratic at times which accounted for the similar numbers in turnovers. The Cardinals were doing better in shot selection and was up by seven (16-9) at the end of the first.
As fast as the game was being played, there was a low incidence of fouling. There were just five infractions between the two at the break. Both teams had made a real push in the second but the Cardinals were still ahead by five, 29-24.
They did not slow down in the third and were still going at it claw to claw. The Lions were playing some hard and solid offense. They wiped away the Cardinals advantage and took one of their own at 40-36.
The Lions’ reserves came off the oak and made much-needed contributions, about 95 percent of them scored. The Cardinals didn’t tuck their tail feathers and slink away. They carried it to the very end, coming up three points short at 55-52.
Giving the Lions the 2-1A title were Shantez Hearn with 11, Mitchell Wilson and Darion Cunningham with 10 each and Anthony Mabon with nine.
Hitting doubles for the Cardinals were Allen Robinson with 20 and Kris Roberts, JaVaughn Jones and Quinton Hankins with 10 each.
The Lions (11-14) hosted Thrasher Tuesday night to begin 1A North State play. The Cardinals (10-18) hosted Falkner.
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