Thursday, March 15, 2012
Martin picked for North-South game
By BARRY BURLESON
Justice Martin is keeping an H.W. Byers basketball tradition going.
The junior was chosen to play in the Mississippi North-South All-Star Basketball Game on July 10 at Mississippi College in Clinton.
She is the fifth Lady Lion selected in recent years – following Rachel Jones, Brionne Gulledge, Kourtney Coleman and Alexis Hardaway.
“It definitely speaks volumes for our program,” said coach Jason Thompson, who has led the Byers girls to four state championships in the past five seasons. “We have solid teams with great athletes who can perform at a high level and draw attention.”
He said Martin has always been an extremely hard worker, but her talent really started to shine when Alexis Hardaway went down with an injury in mid-December this season.
“A game or two after Alexis’ injury, the whole team realized they had to step up and play well and maintain what we had going, Thompson said.
“Justice (Martin) accepted the challenge. She turned it up a notch and things went well for her.”
Martin went from averaging six points a game to averaging 16.
Coach Thompson also said the rugged schedule his Class 1A squad plays helps his girls’ gain recognition.
“We get overlooked some because we’re a small school,” he said. “Some think these kids can’t hang with 5A and 6A, but then they look at our schedule and realize how tough it is. They realize my kids hold their own against anybody at any level.”
The Lady Lions went 29-4 this season and won a second straight Class 1A state championship after winning the crown in Class 2A in 2008 and 2009.
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