Hornets rule Sr. Night

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 2, 2009

McLaurin’s boys almost spoiled Senior Night at Loyd Star. Butsenior guard Ashton Fox wouldn’t let it happen, sinking a layinwith 5 seconds left to play and lifting the Hornets to a shaky67-65 Friday night win over the McLaurin Tigers.

Fox, a 6-foot senior guard, finished with 29 points. He wasjoined in double digits by DeAndre Butler and Glenn Thomas with 12points apiece as Loyd Star overcame, a sluggish, poor-shootingperformance and held off a hustling McLaurin team.

In the varsity girls game, seniors Haley Sones and ShannonChester scored 14 and 12 points respectively in their last homegame, leading the Lady Hornets to a 67-20 triumph. Sophomore LeahBritt also scored 12 points.

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Loyd Star concludes regular season play Thursday night atFranklin County in Meadville. The Division 6-2A Tournament tips offFeb. 9, at Enterprise.

The Hornets (21-1, 11-1) carried a 52-43 lead into the fourthquarter. They had led the Tigers by 14 points, 36-22 athalftime.

Fox’s spinning layup entered the hoop with just 5 seconds leftto play, breaking a 65-65 deadlock that was caused by MichaelYoung’s layup with 37 seconds remaining. Young had sacked a treywith 62 seconds left in the game.

“I was proud of our team,” said McLaurin coach Jason Kelly.”When we got down 15 (points), we could have quit.”

The Tigers (10-11, 3-6) outrebounded and outhustled the Hornets.They got 21 points from rail-thin senior Ronnie Brown who fouledout with 1:10 left in the game. Young finished with 17 points andClarence Williams netted 12.

Loyd Star, the No. 2 seed behind Hinds AHS in next week’sdivision tourney, overcame 20 turnovers. The Hornets got 8 reboundsfrom Butler.

“We are proud to get a win in our last home game,” said LoydStar coach Gene (Moochie) Britt. “Ashton made a shot when he had tohave it.

“McLaurin has as much talent as any team in our district. Wetried to fancy dribble and force some shots at the end,” saidBritt. “McLaurin is too quick and we didn’t take care of theball.”

Also recognized on Senior Night were Preston Hebert and DamionOatis.

The Lady Hornets (20-5, 9-3) will be seeded No. 2 in thedistrict tourney behind Wesson. Coach Billy Vaughn’s team lostsophomore forward Erica Smith to a knee injury late in the firstquarter and she didn’t return. They expanded their lead to 37-10 athalftime.

Vaughn said his two All-Lincoln County seniors, Chester andSones, were a valuable part of his squad’s success. “Shannon andHaley mean a lot to our team. They were starting in the eighthgrade and have probably played over 100 games for Loyd Star.”

On the backboards, Chester grabbed 10 rebounds, plus 8 assistsand 4 steals. Courtney Watts grabbed 7 rebounds and TyrishaPatterson 6. Sarah Falvey made 4 steals. Brandy Jackson made 3assists.

McLaurin (4-21, 0-9), is still hunting its first divisionvictory. Coached by LeTanya Deloach, the Lady Tigers only dressed 8players Friday night and 2 of them were freshmen who started.

Nine points by Taneka Green led McLaurin scoring. They were down21-4 at the quarter and 37-10 at halftime, allowing Vaughn to playhis entire bench.