Thursday, November 29, 2012
Lady Lions down MRA, Stone Mountain
By BARRY BURLESON
The Class 1A H.W. Byers Lady Lions went two for three last week against the bigger schools.
Coach Jason Thompson’s team moved its season record to 6-1.
They opened the week Monday, Nov. 19, with a 77-43 loss to Class 6A Southaven, the number one team in the state.
Byers trailed 38-15 at halftime.
Justice Martin was the only Lady Lion in double figures. She had 20 points.
Thompson was without two of his players – Abria Gulledge and Kadejar Moore.
“We were short-handed and couldn’t get the job done,” he said. “We were in a hostile environment (at the Southaven Tournament) and Southaven is ranked number one for a reason.
“We learned a lot about us as a team and this game gave us things to go back to the drawing board and work on.”
The Lady Lions bounced back Tuesday of last week with a thrilling 65-61 win over Class AAA private school Madison Ridgeland Academy in double overtime.
“It was a tough game against a well-coached team,” Thompson said. “We figured out a way to win.”
Byers led 25-20 at the half. The game was tied at 47 at the end of regulation.
Justice Martin drilled threes at the end of regulation and at the end of the first OT to keep the Lady Lions alive.
Then in the second OT, Byers outscored MRA 9-5.
Madison McCreless was the top gun for Byers. She scored 19. Martin had 16.
The Lady Lions then traveled to Murfressboro, Tenn., Saturday for the Turkey Jam and routed Class 5A Stone Mountain, Ga., 72-22.
“It was a huge win,” Thompson said. “It lets us know we are on the right track to getting back to Jackson (where the Lady Lions have won back-to-back state championships).”
The Byers girls stormed out of the starting gate – leading 20-8 after one quarter and 45-17 at the half.
McCreless turned in a strong performance. She had 18 points and 17 rebounds. Martin and Richenda Crutcher added 14 and 13 points, respectively. ShaDai Nolen had 10 points and eight steals.
“It really helps us to play big schools and good competition,” Thompson said.
The Byers boys played in the Southaven Tournament Monday and Tuesday, losing to two 6A schools, DeSoto Central and Southaven.
The Lions lost 96-48 to unbeaten DeSoto Central after trailing 48-25 at the half.
Chris Echols led Byers with 13 points. Anthony Mabon added 12.
The next night Byers gave Southaven a battle before falling 83-71.
The Lions were down by just six at the half. They got outscored 19-4 in the third before a fourth-quarter rally came up short.
Mabon and Echols combined for 60 points. Mabon scored 31, including five threes. Echols was close behind with 29 points. Echols also had 11 rebounds.
The Lions’ record evened at 3-3.
H.W. Byers squads host Marshall County rival Byhalia this Friday night, Nov. 30.
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