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Wesson, Loyd Star get Friday wins in Snake Pit

WESSON – In a season of rebuilding basketball teams, both theWesson Cobras and Loyd Star Lady Hornets got some satisfactionFriday night in the Snake Pit. Loyd Star’s girls held off Wesson54-45 and Wesson’s boys roared to a 73-46 victory, beating theHornets for the first time since 2005.

The victories held additional importance since they were Region6-2A contests. The 6-2A tournament will be held Feb. 7-11, at LoydStar.

The Lady Hornets (5-15, 2-3) got a career-high 22 points fromsenior guard Erica Smith. Her 3-point play on a layup and freethrow gave Loyd Star a 47-40 lead with 2:04 left to play.

“We made some big free throws at the end,” said Loyd Star girlscoach Billy Vaughn. He watched Smith and Jordan Williams make 7 of13 free throws in the final 2 minutes of the game.

“Wesson played hard,” Vaughn continued. “That ninth grader (BrandiMcInnis) stepped up and made some big shots for them.”

With three of Wesson’s starters in foul trouble, McInnis came offthe bench and sacked 14 points, including 4 treys.

The Lady Cobras (5-11, 0-7) lost their top seven players tograduation off last season’s region championship squad. Assistantcoach Rusti Magee was named to replace Hugh Webb who retired.

“My girls play hard every game and they are improving,” said Magee.She only has one senior starter in Madison Rials who scored 19points, grabbed 5 rebounds and made 4 steals before foulingout.

Loyd Star, wearing black uniforms trimmed in red, got 11 pointsfrom Melody Smith. Center Tyrisha Patterson grabbed 14 rebounds andblocked 3 shots. Erica Smith finished with 5 rebounds and 3 steals.Williams made 11 points and 7 assists.

Wesson got 16 rebounds from Dylann Harris. Rials had 5 rebounds and4 steals.

Cobras (5-9, 3-2) got a fast start as senior guard Gib Britt sacked3 treys and a field goal in the first quarter, sparking Wesson to a17-11 lead. For the game, they outrebounded the Hornets35-22.

“Gib Britt came out hot and that set the tone for the game,” saidWesson first-year coach Rusty Newman. “Our kids won the battle ofthe boards and that was big. We did a good job getting down thefloor, too.”

Newman, a 1999 Wesson graduate, got 15 points from Britt, 14 pointsfrom senior forward D.J. Coleman and 13 from sophomore J.J. Sutton.Sophomore Terry Brown contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds. Brittalso had 3 assists and 3 steals.

Loyd Star (3-12, 2-3), the ruling juggernaut for several year,graduated 11 seniors and left Coach Gene (Moochie) Britt’s teamshort on experience. Zack Smith scored 17 points and TerionWilliams 15 plus 5 rebounds.

“It was a long night for us,” said Coach Britt. “We just have towork hard to get better.”

Britt was whistled for a technical foul late in the third quarterand his team down by 10 points, 44-34. The Cobras kept on rollingand steadily pulled away.

In the JV boys game, Wesson edged Loyd Star 25-21 and Terry Brownand Kaleb Skinner tossed in 5 points apiece. Corey Skinner andBailey Warren each had 4 points.

Loyd Star got 7 points from Rictavius Butler. Quan Allen scored 6points and Donovan Johnson 4.