Thursday, December 20, 2012
Byers sweeps Byhalia
By CLAUDE VINSON
Another installment in the intra-county rivalries, this one in the same school district, took place Tuesday night of last week.
The host team, the Byhalia Lady Indians, got the first lead and matched play well with the H.W. Byers Lady Lions. Given the Lady Lions’ history and record, one has to believe that there is going to be turbulence.
Byers began trapping at half-court and Sha Dai Nolen, Madison McCreless and Richenda Crutcher turned takeaways into points. A 29-10 first quarter was the result.
The Lady Indians were being severely outrebounded. The score kept mounting in the second frame. McCreless was being absolutely deadly from close range. The other players were practically inundating her with feeds. The pace was fast and the Lady Indians were in the race, but making too many turnovers. The tally was 57-30 at intermission in favor of Byers.
The Lady Indians only picked up sporadic baskets in the third and the Byers attack took a heavy toll. It reached a score of 73-40.
The visitors trimmed the score a bit in the final quarter, logging only 10 points; however, it was still a huge total of 83-40. Byhalia was led by Shandricka Sessom (15) and Deronique Martin (12).
The Lady Lions (10-1) had distributive scoring, topped out by 26 from McCreless, with 14 from Crutcher, 13 from Precious Rogers and 10 from Justice Martin and Laniqua Collins each.
Indians fall to Byers
Though scoring was slow in the beginning, it wasn’t long before it became evident that it just wasn’t the bigger school’s night in this rivalry game. The shooting accuracy was about even with both having a dozen points at the end of the first quarter. The teams kept pace with each other pretty much in all areas. There was that underlying threat that the Lions could break it open in a split minute. Neither established a solid lead and neither was getting any long-ball help. Class 1A Byers led Byhalia 31-29 at the half.
The Lions increased the lead to nine and began pulling away. They got a morale boost from the “dunk master” (Chris Echols), who took a pass over the basket and jammed it with both hands. They left their 3A opponent in the dust after that to the tune of 54-37.
Malik Stewart gave his home crowd a boot in spirit with a left-handed slam in heavy traffic. But after that A.J. Mabon and Echols showcased some fancy ball-handling that not only involved a little sleight of hand, but at the same time put points on the board. They went on to complete the sweep of their hosts, 72-52.
Pat Stevenson and Demarcus Cofer led the Indians with 14 and nine, respectively.
Mabon led the Lions with 28, while Echols tossed in 23, and Jahkel Scott hit eight.
Byhalia teams hosted North Panola Friday (see separate story).
The Byers boys played in the Biggersville Shootout Saturday (see separate story).
Byers teams host Potts Camp Thursday. The Lady Lions play in the New Site Tournament Saturday, meeting 6A Gulfport at 2:30 p.m.
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