Photo by DeMill DixonLady Indian Darianna Wilson shoots over a Lady Warrior.
A district sweep
Byhalia High School basketball teams wrapped themselves up an early Christmas gift with a December 21 sweep of Corinth at home.
“I thought both teams played with great effort,” said Derwin Cooper, head coach of the Lady Indians and Indians.
The Byhalia girls cashed in a lot of points off turnovers and coasted to a 61-36 win over the Lady Warriors in the District 1-4A match-up.
Utilizing the full-court pressure to their advantage, the Lady Indians went up 8-2 when Brianna Beard got the steal and passed ahead to Jasmine Malone, who got the lay-up. Aryian Hodges ended the first quarter with a three. It was 11-4.
“We pressed the entire game and the girls showed great tenacity,” said Cooper, whose team picked up their first district win. “Our backs are against the wall in district play. Everything counts.”
Byhalia’s lead increased to 15 when Malone scored off a Corinth turnover with 3:06 to go in the second. She also added a bucket just before the first-half horn. The Lady Indians were in full control at 29-12.
Annie Richmond and Hodges each drilled a three to end the third. It was 47-21.
The Lady Indians kept on clicking in the fourth as they won by 25.
“It was a great win for us,” Cooper said. “I hope it will have a domino effect the rest of the way.”
Hitting in double digits for Byhalia were Malone with 18, Hodges and Beard with 12 each and Darianna Wilson with 10.
The Byhalia boys could never quite pull away from the feisty Warriors but remained unbeaten in district play with the 54-47 win.
“We’d had a week off, and our shots were not falling,” Cooper said. “We had to get our legs back under us. We executed better the second half.”
The Indians trailed 10-4 with 2:47 left in the opening quarter. But they snatched the momentum late in the first when Kavontae Tunstall hit a three and Jerrell Bronson scored on a putback to put the home team on top 16-12.
The teams swapped leads in the second, Byhalia going up five and Corinth battling back to lead by one.
Antwon Porter dunked on a breakaway, and the Indians’ lead was 30-22 with 2:44 to go until intermission. Then the Warriors sliced their deficit to 30-28 at the halfway mark.
Byhalia’s biggest lead of nine came with 5:17 left in the third. Tunstall’s three made it 39-30.
But once again, Corinth fought back. The Indians were up 43-40 at the end of the third.
Raymond Tuggles opened the fourth by drilling a longrange shot, and then Porter slammed again. It was 48-40.
The Warriors scratched back to within four before the Indians won by seven.
Leading the way for Byhalia were Porter with 17, Tuggles with 12, Tunstall with 11 and Denzel Guy with nine.
The Lady Indians (5-7 and 1-3) and Indians (9-3 and 4-0) played in the Holiday Basketball Challenge Saturday at South Panola versus Grenada. They will visit Marshall County rival Holly Springs this Friday night.
Next Tuesday, Jan. 8, they return to district play when they visit Ripley.