Thursday, February 16, 2012
Lady Lions, Lions get victories in semi-finals
By CLAUDE VINSON
They came last week – the Falcons, Lions (well, the Lions were already there), Eagles, Blue Devils, Cougars and Hawks – in hopes of advancing their quest for the “holy grail” of high school basketball.
And the host H.W. Byers Lady Lions and Myrtle Lady Hawks are no strangers when it comes to this point of their season. Their first quarter ended Thursday night in a 14-14 tie.
In the second, Byers began subbing early. There was no runaway points-gathering by the hosts. With two highly-rated players on the floor (Aspriona Gilbert of Myrtle, Alexis Hardaway of Byers), the potential for an upset was ever present. The Lady Lions did pull away by eight (28-20) at intermission.
The Lady Lions started their cylinders clicking in the third and ran up a 15-point difference. It went up two more (45-28) to start the fourth.
Head coach Jason Thompson got a distributive effort from all his floor players. They settled into an easy routine and eased to a 58-35 win.
Justice Martin and Shadae Nolan scored 10 apiece for Byers.
Gilbert scored 14 for Myrtle to lead the floor. Halle Knowles had 11.
Lions down Ingomar
The nightcap in the second round was between the high-flying Falcons of Ingomar and the mighty Lions. It was a chariot race from the tipoff. There was a low incidence of fouling and the score was close throughout. The Falcons were up by two (22-20) in the first period.
It was tied twice early in the second and Jarvis Jones saw an opening in heavy traffic and delighted the huge crowd with a dunk. But the Falcons knotted it again at 36 at halftime.
The Lions had to do some growling in the third. Ingomar took a double-digit lead and the Lions had to claw their way back. Jones made the feathers fly and almost singlehandedly erased the difference. He had brought the home team to within two by the time the frame ended.
If these squads were tiring it didn’t show. They were still putting on a speed and aerial show. Chris Echols pleased the faithful with a thundering slam. From that point on, the Lions made a dozen trips to the freebie line. They made enough to claim the victory at 70-64 and move into the championship game on Friday night. The Falcons would have to face Myrtle in the boys consolation game.
Jones ended with 29, while Anthony Mabon had 16.
Devonte Williamson led Ingomar with 19, while Henry Foster had 15 and Steven Foster 12.
Meanwhile and in the lead-in games on Tuesday (February 7), the Eagles and Lady Eagles of West Union and the Lady Falcons (Ingomar) and Blue Devils (Ashland) had their tickets cancelled.
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