BY JOHN WILBERT
BALDWYN – Although the H.W. Byers High School girls basketball team earned its 20th win of the season, the Lady Lions' performance Tuesday night was not nearly its best of the season.
The undefeated Lady Lions (20-0, 3-0 in Division 1-2A) beat Baldwyn 64-39 on the Lady Bearcats' home floor, but there were a number of things Byers head coach Jason Thompson saw his team not do well in Tuesday's game.
Poor rebounding, not converting post plays and not preventing Baldwyn from getting easy baskets were areas where Thompson said his team didn't execute well.
“They (Baldwyn) got a couple of layups and a couple easy baskets because we were kind of like lackadaisical around the basket offensively and defensively,” Thompson said.
Fouling was another category to add to the list of mistakes for Thompson's team. The Lady Lions committed 22 fouls in the game.
Baldwyn was already in the bonus just 30 seconds into the second quarter. In fact, the Lady Bearcats scored 18 of their 39 points from the free-throw line, led by Merica Turner (7 of 8) and Consuela Starks (5 of 6). Turner finished the game with 16 points, while Starks totaled 11.
Lady Lions post player Symone Gorman fouled out with 5:21 to play in the fourth quarter after having scored 16 points.
“We play everyday with our hands behind our backs in practice to eliminate those types of mental errors,” Thompson said. “You see all that stuff (fouls) is mental stuff to where you are using your hands more than your feet to put your body in position, and we teach that everyday.”
Yes, the Lady Lions did not play as well as they would have liked Tuesday, but a “helter-skelter schedule” -as Thompson referred to his team's schedule for the past month, including over the Christmas holidays – may have thrown off their rhythm.
“Our game plan was to try to slow the ball down and just be patient on offense, stop some of their transition and layups in transition,” said Baldwyn head coach Reneetra Shinault, whose team fell to 8-8 overall and 2-1 in Division 1-2A.
“I thought we had spurts where we did a great job and everything. We had spurts where we kind of just let up.
“Overall, I'm proud of my girls because Byers beat us (by) 62 points last year. …. I don't think the (Tuesday's) score was really a reflection of the game.
“I thought my girls played hard when things were going bad.”
Amanda Jones led the Lady Lions with 18 points, while teammate Alexis Hardaway added 10.
(B) Baldwyn 89,
H.W. Byers 56
Big man Andrew Shelton scored 30 points and it was all Bearcats (15-1, 2-0) in Tuesday's Division 1-2A game.
Tedarian Bryson led Byers (7-11, 2-1) with 16 points.