Williford hits wall; leads Hornets past Wesson

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, January 10, 2006

When Loyd Star guard Tyler Williford crashed into the wall andinjured his left wrist Friday night, Hornet fans held their breath.Williford, with his wrist wrapped, quickly returned to action andpowered the host Hornets to a 59-44 triumph, sacking a game-high 24points.

illiford also had 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals as theHornets (7-6, 1-2) won their first Division 6-2A game of theseason. Wesson fell to 7-10 with the loss and 1-2 in thedivision.

Loyd Star resumes play Tuesday at Piney Woods and Wesson hostsSt. Andrew’s for division action.

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“I stole the ball and got tripped up by the defender and raninto the wall,” explained Williford, recalling the incident. Ithapped with 6:03 left in the game and Loyd Star leading by 19points, 45-26.

“I shot the ball all right,” said Williford who sacked 3 treys.”Everybody played good team ball.”

Loyd Star head coach Gene (Moochie) Britt said he was happy tosee his Hornets rebound from Tuesday night’s loss at St. Andrew’s.”Our hustle and defense were much better than Tuesday. We wanted tokeep a hand in (Cobras’) faces because they shoot the ball so wellfrom the outside.”

Britt wasn’t surprised by Williford’s performance. “Tyler shotthe ball like he’s supposed to. We played better as a team. We arestarting three sophomores, a junior and a senior.”

The Hornets held a shaky 21-20 halftime lead over their archrivals. They started the second half with an 8-2 run. Point guardMatthew Henderson ignited the run with a steal and a layup. RandyFells and Drew Case sank jump shots.

Williford sacked 2 of his treys in the third frame and theHornets forged a 16-point, 40-24 lead starting the final 8 minutesof action.

Henderson finished with 8 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals and 3assists. Case accounted for 12 points and Fells grabbed 8rebounds.

Loyd Star center Ricky Barnes picked up his fourth personal foulwith 4:39 left in the third quarter.

Wesson, coached by Ron Kessler, couldn’t find the range againstthe defense-minded Hornets. Guard Mason Warren finished with 15points. Brandt Hood scored 11 points, hitting 2 treys.

“We prepared poorly in practice the day before and it showed,”said Kessler. “We took Loyd Star for granted. I think we had aletdown after that big win Tuesday night at McLaurin.

“Williford carried Loyd Star,” Kessler continued. “He does a lotof things for them. He penetrates well and he was hitting theoutside shots against us.”

On the backboards, Phil Fortenberry grabbed 9 rebounds.

JV Results

In the junior varsity boys game, Cody King’s 16 points carriedWesson to a 46-42 victory. Jamar Sims added 11 points. MatthewCliburn netted 2 free throws for a 43-42 Wesson lead. King added 2insurance free throws with 1.6 seconds left to play.

Loyd Star got 19 points from Steve Watts.