Thursday, February 2, 2012
Byers takes two from Falcons
By CLAUDE VINSON
Fur and feathers flew in yet another duel between a pair of district foes in the Lions’ den last Friday night.
The H.W. Byers Lady Lions were coming off of a win over non-district foe but county rival Potts Camp the night before. However, this game versus Ingomar had a different look from the opening. Alexis Hardaway was back in the starting line-up and she sank the first basket for the Lady Lions. They went up 18-14 in the first.
The home team put the pedal to the metal in the second quarter. With Abria Gulledge leading the charge with a pair of treys, and Kyra Gulledge ruling the lane, the Lady Lions rolled to a 42-18 halftime tally.
The Lady Lions continued the onslaught in the third frame. They were totally in sync and the 69-24 score showed it.
In the final period, head coach Jason Thompson cleared his bench twice but it didn’t provide a lot of hope or comfort for the visitors; they were spectators as the Lady Lions coasted to the 86-28 victory.
The Lady Lions (19-4 overall and 5-0 in the district) had a half dozen shooters in double figures, starting with Justice Martin with 10, Richenda Crutcher with 11, another 10 from Hardaway, another 11 from Madison McCreless, 15 from A. Gulledge and 19 from K. Gulledge.
Lions clip Falcons
This could be seen as a pivotal game for both of these combatants since the playoffs were looming large on the horizon and they were tied at 3-1 in the district. In the early game, both teams were guarding heavily with the Falcons slipping coverage and finding Byers’ back door open. Byers’ lead was one (18-17) at the end of the first.
This was shaping up to be a hot one. The Ingomar Falcons took the lead early in the second quarter, but Chris Echols brought the crowd into it with one of his trademark dunks. Ingomar had a three-point lead near the end of the quarter but Byers tied it on a freebie and a lay-up by Anthony Mabon (the playmaker had 20 assists in the Lions game with West Union earlier in the week), 31-31 at the half.
The Lions achieved their biggest margin in the third (eight points), but the Falcons are coached by Norris Ashley, one of the storied coaches in the Mississippi high school basketball tapestry. So, an opponent has to be prepared to play the full 32. And apparently the Lions were because they upped the lead to 10 at the end of the frame (50-40).
In the final period, the Lions became veritable ball hawks. They had completely closed the back door and they were bringing heavy pressure on every Falcon possession. Echols got his fourth slam of the game (he had attempted five), and his teammate Jarvis Jones closed it out with one of his own. The final score was 69-54.
It was obvious that coach Trey Lawrence’s Lions were adequately prepared for the test from the Falcons. The coach got 15 each from Echols and Mabon, 12 from Herrandus Washington and 21 from Jones.
The Byers boys improved to 12-8 overall and 4-1 in the district. Byers teams host the district tourney next week.
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