Thursday, January 16, 2014
Rival games go to Byers
By BARRY BURLESON
The H.W. Byers Lady Lions escaped a close call versus Marshall County rival Potts Camp Friday night.
“I’m just glad we won,” coach Jason Thompson said after the hard-fought 49-44 win. “We survived.”
The matchup was hotly-contested from the opening tip. Shortly thereafter, Lady Cardinal Hayley Davis drilled a three for the early lead.
Midway through the first, Byers’ patented full-court pressure started paying dividends. The Lady Lions moved in front 16-11 after the initial quarter.
But Potts Camp battled back to tie. Dana Jeffries’ three at the 5:26 mark of the second quarter knotted the game at 18.
Byers’ Abria Gulledge answered with a three and the Lady Lions kept a narrow lead until halftime. It was 26-23 at the break.
The second half was more of the same intensity.
Allyiah Smith’s bucket on a fast break swung the lead to the Lady Cards at 27-26 just over a minute into the third quarter.
But the momentum shifted big-time with four seconds to go in the period. That’s when Gulledge drilled a long three for a 38-32 advantage.
Byers stretched the lead to 12 midway through the fourth, capitalizing on a couple of Potts Camp turnovers.
The Lady Lions spread the floor and ran the clock in the final minutes, but the Lady Cards came up with a couple of takeaways of their own and cut it to five with 17 seconds left. That’s as close as they could get.
“I liked the effort,” said Tana Miller, head coach of the Potts Camp girls. “We have to take care of the ball a little better. The girls fought hard for four quarters.”
Gulledge led Byers (11-4) with 20 points. Richenda Crutcher and Laniqua Collins followed with 14 and 10, respectively.
Leading the Lady Cards (7-7) were Davis with 12 and Smith with 10.
Lions complete sweep
The Byers boys started pulling away in the second quarter of the second game and went on to a 68-56 win over rival Potts Camp.
The Lions held a narrow advantage throughout the first quarter and grabbed a 17-11 advantage at the end of the period.
In the second quarter, Byers’ full-court defensive heat burned the Cardinals.
The Lions, converting a turnover into points, went up 23-13 with 5:58 left and then used that same formula a few more times to go ahead 40-24 at halftime.
Byers pretty much tucked the win away late in the third when Montavious Reynolds got loose for a one-handed dunk and was fouled. He also hit the free throw for a 54-33 lead.
It was 60-33 following three quarters.
But the Cardinals didn’t hang their heads. They kept battling.
David Lester drained a couple of threes in the closing minutes and Potts Camp fell by 12.
Reynolds poured in 24 for Byers (4-10). Ron Beard added 13. Eleven Lions scored.
For Potts Camp (5-9), Xavion Allen had 20 and Keldrick Wiseman nine.
Potts Camp teams hosted Strayhorn Tuesday. They host Holly Springs Friday.
Byers squads will visit West Tallahatchie this Friday and host DeSoto Central next Tuesday, Jan. 21.
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