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Bears tame Hornets; Loyd Star girls nip West Lincoln

Two Lincoln County rivals assembled at the Jack Case Gymnasiumfor an old-fashioned pre-Christmas shootout, Thursday night. WestLincoln and Loyd Star provided their respective supporters with 4exciting match-ups.

The Loyd Star Lady Hornets held off a stubborn West Lincolnsquad 42-41. Christie May powered the Lady Hornets with 16 pointsand 10 rebounds. An injury to Loyd Star guard Brad Britt proved tobe pivotal as the Hornets dropped a 56-50 heartbreaker to the WestLincoln. Britt led the Hornets with 15 points.

In junior high action, Loyd Star defeated West Lincoln 37-32 ingirls action. Loyd Star beat West Lincoln 51-42 in the boysgame.

West Lincoln travels to North Pike tonight, for 3 games. A JVboys game begins at 5:00 p.m. The varsity girls game tips off at 6,followed by the varsity boys game at 7:30.

Loyd Star resumes play on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2001 at NatchezCathedral. The varsity girls begins at 6, followed by the varsityboys game at 7:30.

Loyd Star 42, West Lincoln 41

Neither the Lady Bears or the Lady Hornets could pull away fromthe other. The largest lead in the game for West Lincoln or LoydStar was only 6 points. There were 10 lead changes and 3 ties. Bothteams exhibited patience on offense and a pressing defensethroughout the 32-minute affair.

The Lady Hornets (8-3) had the upper hand at the end of thefirst period, leading 8-7. Loyd Star would cling to a 20-18 lead atthe intermission.

Loyd Star was somewhat shorthanded on the night. Three starters,Monica Townsend, Dana Coke and Leah Smith were suffering fromcold-like symptoms. All 3 managed to play. Townsend washospitalized earlier in the week for dehydration.

“Three of our starters were very sick,” said Loyd Star headcoach Lori Britt. “I am very proud of my girls for the effort thatthey gave.”

Hanna Payne, a 6-foot sophomore, was a force in the paint forWest Lincoln head coach Jason Case. Payne scored 4 points inside asthe Lady Bears entertained a 29-26 lead at the end of the third.She received most of her passes from guard Dana King, finished thegame with a team-high 16 points and 5 assists.

West Lincoln (6-8) were down 38-32 midway through the finalperiod, before nearly completing a miraculous comeback.

King canned a short jumper to cut the Loyd Star lead to 2, 40-38with 32 seconds left on the clock.

Lady Hornet Leah Smith hit 2 free throws with 24 secondsremaining in the game for 42-38 advantage.

The Lady Bears could not convert on a one-plus-one situation andLoyd Star could not capitalize on 2 free throws.

King drilled a 3-point basket as the final horn sounded. LoydStar had realized their final margin of victory.

“Our girls played hard,” said Case.

Lending support for Loyd Star was Leah Smith with 7 rebounds.Jamekia Henderson had 3 steals.

West Lincoln got 5 rebounds from Holli Bass. Hanna Robertsdished out 4 assists. Chastity Avants had 3 steals.

West Lincoln 56, Loyd Star 50

West Lincoln (11-3) appeared to be in control on their homecourt. The Bears jumped out to an early 9-0 lead.

Loyd Star (5-6) fought back, behind the play of guard BradBritt, to take a 15-13 lead into the second quarter. Britt had 7points in the period.

The second period opened with much of the same, Britt continuedto have the hot hand. He had 8 points in the second, beforesuffering a sprained ankle with 4:26 left in the first half. Brittdid not return to the game, but the Hornets held a 33-28 lead athalftime.

The Bears tied the game 4 times in the third, with the latterbeing a 44-44 deadlock entering the final stanza.

West Lincoln’s Luke Lofton sacked his fifth trey of the night,with under 7 minutes remaining in the game, to give the Bears a47-44 lead. Case sent the Bears into a stall offense for nearly 6minutes of the game.

Lofton led all scorers with 19 points.

“The stall offense was designed to make Loyd Star come out ofthe zone and play man-to-man,” said Case.

A multitude of free throws by the Bears raised their lead to 8,52-44 with 44 seconds left on the clock.

A pair of treys by Demarcus Barnes and Seth Britt were all thatthe Hornets could muster in the final seconds.

“Brad’s injury really hurt us tonight,” said Hornet head coachGene “Moochie” Britt following the game. “We fell out of sync. Theteam was playing pretty good.”

Powering the Bear attack was Carlos Johnson with 13 rebounds.Jamie Sisco had 5 assists and 3 steals. Kalis Fells had 4steals.

Loyd Star had support from Barnes with 14 points, 8 rebounds, 4assists and 4 steals. Seth Britt had 6 rebounds and 3 steals.Jermaine Hunter had 6 rebounds.

Junior High Results

In the junior high girls game, Brittany Henderson chipped in agame-high 18 points and Shara Johnson added 9 for Loyd Star (6-2).West Lincoln, suffering their first loss of the season, were led byLauren Smith with 9 points and Brittnee Smith with 7.

In the junior high boys game, Loyd Star got a game-high 22points from Josh Townsend. Juran Collins provided 11 points for theHornets. Tyler Smith tossed in a team-high 20 points for WestLincoln. Shane Lynch added 11 points for the Bears.