Photos by Barry Burleson
Deandre Martin of Byhalia is guarded closely by Ashland’s Taron Terry (5) as he goes to the goal Friday night.
Byhalia’s Shaquira Caradine (right) tries to get past Tyranda Williams (10) of Ashland.
Byhalia sweeps Ashland
Coach James Sales wanted his Indians to face top-notch competition going into tournament time. That’s why he scheduled Ashland for the final regular season game.
On senior night Friday at Byhalia, Sales’ Class 4A team hooked up in a back-and-forth battle with coach Rolley Tipler’s two-time defending Class 1A champions. The Indians will ride the momentum of a 72-57 win into the post-season.
“They have one of the best players in the state (DeAnthony Tipler) and an overall good team,” Sales said. “I knew they would give us a look that we need going into tournament play. I thought we played better basketball. We made some big shots, rebounded well and played a lot better defensively.”
The Indians were on the warpath early, leaping to an 8-0 lead on Kavonte Tunstall’s steal and bucket. But Tipler scored eight straight for the Blue Devils to tie the game.
At the end of the first, Byhalia trailed 16-15.
Author Martin’s three early in the second put Byhalia back in front. But about three minutes later Jamarqus Everett hit a long-range shot for Ashland and the visiting squad led 28-19.
The Indians cut their deficit to 32-30 at halftime.
The teams swapped the lead in the third. Deandre Martin’s takeaway and drive to the goal put Byhalia up 38-36. Tipler answered to tie it.
Then late in the third, with the Devils up by one, Tipler picked up his fourth foul and had to go to the bench for several minutes.
Byhalia went up 48-42 to end the third when Corvell Todd sank a jump shot.
The Devils climbed back. Taron Terry hit a three from the corner and they were back ahead 52-50 with 5:28 remaining.
But that was the visitors’ last lead.
D. Martin and A. Martin had key buckets down the stretch for Byhalia as the Indians pulled away and won by 11.
Four players hit in double digits for Coach Sales – Tunstall, A. Martin and Corey Hardin with 14 each and D. Martin with 11.
For Ashland, Tipler scored 21 points, 17 of those in the first half. Ocquavion Agyekum added 18 and Everett 11.
The Lady Indians coasted to an 83-41 win over the Lady Blue Devils in the first game of the evening.
Coach Sales said the Byhalia girls continue to improve after losing the services of Dandy Dozen player Shay Johnson due to injury.
“Tonight, we made the easy shots and we played hard on defense,” he said.
Shaquira Caradine’s steal and bucket put Byhalia up 13-2. It was 15-4 at the end of the opening quarter.
Soniya Mixon and Leekadra Smith each nailed a pair of threes before the halfway mark of the second. The lead was then 30-11, and at the half, it was 40-18.
Byhalia went on to win by 42.
Tialexus Stevenson and Caradine poured in 16 points each for the Lady Indians. Smith had 14 and Mixon 11.
The Lady Indians (18-5 overall, 6-4 in the district) will be the third seed in this week’s Region 1-4A Tournament at Corinth. The Indians (13-9 overall, 7-3 in the district) will be the second seed.
Byhalia teams split with Rosa Fort on Tuesday night of last week at Tunica.
The Lady Indians got 20 points from Caradine in a dominant 67-31 win over the Lady Lions.
Byhalia led 29-19 at the half and put things away in the third quarter by outscoring Rosa Fort 28-5.
Darianna Wilson added 16 points for the Lady Indians and Smith 12.
“We pressed them and forced turnovers,” Sales said. “We played a lot better. It was a good win on the road and hopefully it will help motivate us.”
The Byhalia boys dropped a heartbreaker at Tunica, 59-58.
The Lions missed a shot at the buzzer but got the tip-in to win by one.
“We turned the ball over in the last minute and also missed the front end of a one-and-one,” Sales said.
The Indians trailed 16-11 after one quarter and 27-23 at the half. They rallied to take the lead 46-42 entering the fourth before losing the lead in the last seconds.
Martin was Byhalia’s leading scorer with 19 points. Hardin followed with 13.