Byers bashes Lady Cats again

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, March 3, 2013

JACKSON – The Bogue Chitto Lady Cats returned to the Big House to battle the 2-time defending Class 1A state champion H.W. Byers Lady Lions Friday morning and kick off the semifinal or Final Four of the MHSAA State 1A Tournament in the Mississippi Coliseum.

The Lady Cats saw their Cinderella season come to an nightmarish end for the third year in a row as the Lady Lions roared past Bogue Chitto 72-35.

In the other 1A girls game, the Hinds AHS Lady Bulldogs managed to surpass the Ashland Lady Devils 52-47 to advance to the championship game.

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The Lady Cats finished their great season with 27-8 worksheet. Bogue Chitto’s future still looks very bright as they work to make a return trip next year. BC will lose only three seniors to graduation.

The Lady Lions (27-5) quest for a 3-peat will come Thursday at 1 p.m. against the Hinds AHS Lady Bulldogs (28-6).

Byers 72, Bogue Chitto 35

The Lady Cats came out strong in the first quarter and grabbed an early 6-2 lead after two minutes of action, before the Lady Lions managed to overpower BC with their aggressive defensive pressure and speed. They roared to a 25-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Byers continued to turn up the heat on Bogue Chitto and outscored the Lady Cats 20-5 for a comfortable 45-16 lead at halftime.

In the second half, the Lady Lions came out and picked up where they left off and hammered BC 27-19 to clinch the win. BC shot a frigid 22 percent from the field.

Senior forward Rheagan Welch pumped in a team-high 11 points to lead the Lady Cats. Freshmen guard Zariah Matthews contributed 9 points. Junior forward Earlnesheia Dillon was the leader on the boards with 8 rebounds. Senior Adrienne Wallace gathered 7 rebounds but managed just 6 points.

“We had a great season,” said BC coach Christi Terrell. “We got beat by a team who is very athletic and shoots the ball well. They have four players that can score in double figures.

“Overall, I am very proud of my girls,” continued Terrell. “They fought hard throughout the whole game and didn’t quit. We just had trouble handling their pressure and did not make our shots. I am very pleased with my girls’ efforts to make it back to the Big House for the third straight year. Now, we must regroup and start preparing for next year.”

Senior guard ShaDai Nolen directed the Lady Lions charge with a game-high 12 points, plus 6 rebounds. Junior forward Richenda Crutcher netted 11 points. Precious Rogers and Laniqua Collins were the leaders on the boards for Byers with 8 rebounds apiece.

“We are extremely proud to get the win,” said Byers coach Jason Thompson. “The girls played really hard today and we are excited to return to the championship.

“We knew coming in that Bogue Chitto would be tough to beat for the third time,” stated Thompson. “So we had to come in and set the tone of the game early to be able to reach our goal of a 3-peat. Bogue Chitto has a very tough and well-coached ball club.”

Hinds AHS 52, Ashland 47

Erica Harris was the offensive leader for the Lady Bulldogs with a tournament-high 25 points. Octavia Barnes chipped in a double-double performance with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Javita Godwin paced the Lady Devils with a team-high 16 points. Damertis Anderson provided 11 points. Tierra Brown led on the boards with 10 rebounds.