Thursday, January 5, 2012
Marshall County rivalry
By CLAUDE VINSON
The dance hall filled almost to capacity about 15 minutes before the games started.
H.W. Byers versus Holly Springs – this is one of the great intra-county rivalries.
Teams and spectators attach great importance to these matchups although they have no playoff implications for either school. It is just tradition.
The Lady Lions came out in their usual fast mode. They used rebounding and fast breaks to light up the scoreboard. They were up by 11 (15-4) when the first period ended.
The stifling attack was led by Kyra Gulledge, Justice Martin and Abria Gulledge. They received plenty of playmaking help from Precious Rodgers. The Lady Lions went to their bench often and readily but the gulf between the squads on the scoreboard continued to widen. With most of the shooters piercing the nylon, Byers ran out to a 37-14 lead at intermission.
The Lady Hawks were coming off of two holiday tournament wins and they showed patience and method in the third period, but the points gathering was not there. No real floor leader emerged as the score went to 58-22 at the end of the frame.
Head coach Jason Thompson kept running his team leaders in and out and the Lady Lions were never threatened. They cruised to a 78-28 victory.
K. Gulledge posted top scoring honors in the game with 21 for Byers (11-4). She was followed by A. Gulledge with 14, Martin with 13 and Rodgers with 10.
For Holly High (2-15), Abreana Spight led the way with nine.
Lions shock Hawks
The Hawks and Lions had met the first time this season on November 18 on Holly High’s court. The standing-room-only bipartisan crowd was in this second matchup from the tip. The Lions had the early lead and were ahead by nine midway. It was 15-8 at the end of the quarter.
The Hawks fell behind by 10 early in the second frame. The Lions really brought intense pressure via rebounding and ball control. Led by Marterrious Rayford, whose play was almost acrobatic at times, the Lions left the Hawks in their wake to the tune of 39-16 at intermission.
If the first two quarters were dangerous to the Hawks’ health, the third was downright hazardous. The Lions widened the margin by 26 points (50-24). They added another five before the horn to make it 55-29.
In this jungle, the Lions were certainly not sleeping this night. It was strictly their night and game. Everything was going their way.
When the final horn sounded, the 1A entry had completed the sweep of the 3A rival with the Lions rolling 71-46, avenging a 76-53 loss suffered on the Hawks’ turf.
It was also the Byers’ boys first win over Holly High since the Bi-County Tournament title game of 2006.
Jarvis Jones and Chris Echols led the Lions (7-5) with 18 and 16, respectively. Rayford was close behind with 15.
Holly High (12-5) was led by DeAndre Griffin with 12.
The Hawks visited Olive ranch Tuesday. After that they have back-to-back home games – January 6 (Lafayette) and January 10 (Olive Branch).
Byers’ next games are at home versus Jackson Northside January 7.
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