Thursday, January 23, 2014
Indians knock off two district foes
By BARRY BURLESON
The Byhalia Indians survived a cold-shooting night January 14 at Senatobia.
Coach James Sales’ squad escaped with a 41-39 win in double overtime.
It was the first of two District 2-4A contests for the week.
“We couldn’t make a shot,” he said. “We had open looks but could not finish. Thank goodness, it worked out in our favor.”
The Indians had experienced a week off before traveling to face the Warriors.
“After breaks like that, we seem to struggle,” Coach Sales said.
Byhalia was on top 29-22 following three quarters but only scored two points in the fourth. A 31-31 deadlock sent the game to the first overtime.
It was knotted at 36 after that initial OT period, before the Indians pulled out the two-point victory.
Avion Graham was the only Byhalia player in double digits with 11 points. Antonio Wilson pitched in nine.
The Lady Indians, still playing without an injured Shandricka Sessom, dropped a 49-20 decision at Senatobia.
They were down 23-13 at the half and the Lady Warriors outscored Byhalia 15-2 in the third.
Deronique Martin led the Lady Indians with nine points.
The Byhalia boys raised their district mark to 4-1 Friday night at home with a tough 51-46 victory over Lafayette.
The Indians improved to 14-3 overall for the season.
Both teams struggled early on the offensive end. Byhalia was up 7-6 after the first quarter.
Kendrick Parker got loose on the fast break to push the Indians ahead 23-10 near the two-minute mark of the first half. Then Justin Jones drilled a three at the buzzer to put the home team on top 28-12 at the break.
Byhalia remained in control in the third period. Wilson’s dunk pushed the lead to 32-19 at the 5:40 mark. The Indians led 38-28 following three.
The Commodores whittled away at their deficit in the fourth, capitalizing on some Byhalia turnovers and some Indian misses from the free-throw line.
Lafayette pulled to within one (44-43) with 1:12 remaining. Charlie Rogers nailed a couple of crucial free throws to push it back to three. Then late in the game, Parker and Graham both got loose for easy shots to nail down the five-point win.
Nine Indians scored. Parker finished with a team-best 12 points. Wilson added nine.
The Byhalia Lady Indians, with Sessom back in the lineup, dug themselves a hole and almost climbed out before falling 65-56 to the Lady Commodores.
They dropped to 1-4 in the district and 6-12 overall.
Sessom’s three tied the game at 8 with 3:12 left in the first quarter.
In the last four minutes of the second period, Lafayette created some Lady Indian turnovers with their pressure and cashed those into points. The visiting squad surged ahead 29-16 at halftime.
Byhalia fell behind by as many as 18 points in the third quarter and trailed 44-28 entering the fourth.
Sessom led a valiant comeback effort in the final frame. She scored 18 of her 23 points in the fourth but it wasn’t enough as the Lady Indians lost by nine.
A big difference came from the free-throw stripe, where Byhalia had its troubles and the Lady Commodores were deadly.
Martin added nine points for Byhalia and Shay Johnson eight.
Byhalia teams hosted district opponent New Albany Tuesday. They go to Rosa Fort Friday for district games and then invade Ripley next Tuesday, Jan. 28, in district action.
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