By JOHN JAMES MARSHALL, Journal Sports
If you attended Tuesday night’s Byrd-Captain Shreve boys basketball game and were expecting some kind of artistic display, it didn’t take long to discover that you had come to the wrong place.
Missed free throws, turnovers and almost a total lack of flow was the order of the day. But you won’t hear Shreve complaining about it after a 63-30 win over the Yellow Jackets in the Shreve gym.
If there’s one thing you can say about the Gators, it’s that they are relentless. If their defensive pressure doesn’t wear you down, their attacking nature on rebounding certainly will.
“We didn’t do a lot of things right,” Shreve coach Corey Deans said. “But we rebounded the ball well and kept a lot of pressure on them.”
Byrd struggled to even get a shot off in the opening minutes, didn’t score until a basket by Jackson Dufrene with 4:09 to go in the first period and trailed 14-3 after one quarter.
The Yellow Jackets got back in it during the second quarter and despite scoring just 16 points by halftime, Byrd coach C.J. Hyslap felt like his team was still in it.
“That’s kind of been our M.O. all year,” he said. “But when you have dry spells, you can’t have that and win basketball games.”
Byrd closed the gap to 28-20 with 6:05 to go in the third quarter after a putback basket by Dufrene.
That’s when Shreve found its rhythm. For the next three minutes, the Gators did just about anything they wanted to do, scoring 10 straight points to begin to put the game out of reach. When Shreve’s Gerald Abbott punctuated the run with a thunderous dunk to make it 38-20, the message was clear.
Game over … even though there were three minutes to go in the third quarter. Byrd would score only 10 more points – and none in the final 4:35.
“We like to have our defense translate into our offense,” Hyslap said. “We are a better defensive team than offensive. But we struggled to score or even get a shot off sometimes.”
Davieon Coleman led Shreve with 16 points, Kryon Reed had 15, including three 3-pointers, and Christian Ford had 12.
“We were a little sluggish on offense,” Deans said. “We didn’t really have our legs underneath us. We played 11 guys tonight. We were just trying to win a ball game.”
Kavon Barnhill had eight for the Yellow Jackets.
“We just couldn’t get any good looks tonight,” Hyslap said. “And that’s a credit to them. We didn’t knock shots down and turned the ball over.”
Shreve is 14-4 overall and 3-0 in District 1-5A. Byrd falls to 9-7 and 1-2. The Gators will head to Parkway Friday night while Byrd will be at Airline.
Photo: John James Marshall