Byhalia’s Leekadra Smith (24) and Chanddrika Nolan (1) of Byers battle for a rebound.
Photos by Barry Burleson
Xzaverion Crockett (5) goes the hoop for two points.
Photos by Barry Burleson
Michael Mabon (3) of Byers goes in for a lay-up with Byhalia’s Corey Hardin providing opposition.
Byhalia’s Lakiowa Milan (12) puts some pressure on Dallas Fitzpatrick (24) of Byers.
Byhalia sweeps rival Byers
The atmosphere was electric in the H.W. Byers gymnasium and so was the game Friday night.
The Byhalia Indians held on in the closing minutes to win a 73-69 squeaker over their Marshall County rivals.
“We knew Byers would play hard,” said James Sales, head coach of the Indians. “It was a gritty win.”
Kevin Jones, new head coach of the Lions, got his first taste of the rivalry. It was also Byers’ initial game of the season.
“They had the height advantage on us,” he said. “My guys played hard. To lose by four, with only seven players, I thought we played well for our first game. It was a great learning experience.”
The teams, playing with a lot of energy, swapped leads in the first. Xzaverion Crockett scored 10 first-quarter points for the Indians as they led 16-14.
Byhalia led by as many as six in the second. But the Lions got some spark from KaDerious Rhyan, who scored 12 in the quarter. And Michael Mabon cashed in back-to-back buckets to put his team up 29-27 late in the first half, and they were up 33-31 at the break.
The action heated up even more in the third. Byers went up by five at the 6:06 mark when KaDerious Rhyan scored, was fouled and hit the free throw. Then Byhalia’s Corey Hardin put Byhalia up by three with four consecutive free throws.
The back-and-forth game continued. Byers rallied to go up by three with 2:38 left in the third and then courtesy of Arthur Martin’s breakaway bucket, the Indians were up 51-48 at the end of the quarter.
The Lions tied the game at 53 in the fourth on Julian Moore’s three. The Indians were up by seven with 2:28 left on De’Aundre Martin’s tip-in. Byers got back to within one at the 1:12 mark before losing by four.
Crockett and Hardin were the top scorers for the Indians, dropping in 24 and 21 points, respectively. A. Martin added 11 and D. Martin 10.
For the Lions, KaDerious Rhyan lit up the scoreboard for a game-high 33 points. Moore contributed 15 and Mabon 12.
Coach Sales said he was happy to leave with the win but his team should have played better.
“We were out-rebounded, out-hustled and didn’t play good basketball,” he said.
The Byhalia Lady Indians rolled to a 78-33 win over the Byers Lady Lions in the first game of the evening.
Byers’ only lead, 3-2, came early in the game when Myesha Buffington drilled a three-point shot.
About a minute later, Byhalia’s Kavacia Johnson answered with a three to put the visitors up 7-3, and the Lady Indians were off and running.
Byhalia led 28-5 after one quarter, 54-11 at the half and 71-20 following three quarters.
Johnson finished with a game-high 21 points for the Lady Indians. Leekadra Smith added 16 and Tialexus Stevenson 15.
Buffington had 14 to lead the Lady Lions. Jakorien Hubbard was also in double figures with 10.
Byhalia teams split with Forest Hill on Tuesday of last week in the Olive Branch Classic.
The Lady Indians, with three players scoring in double digits, knocked off Forest Hill 58-33.
Johnson led the way with 16, while Soniya Mixon scored 15 and Stevenson 10.
Byhalia was up 39-14 at halftime.
The Indians couldn’t get the offense in gear and dropped a 52-43 decision to Forest Hill.
They trailed 28-16 at the halfway point.
Hardin scored 18 points for Byhalia.
The Lady Indians (3-0) and the Indians (2-1) hosted Southaven Tuesday. They will visit cross-county rival Holly Springs this Friday night to close out the pre-Thanksgiving portion of their schedule.