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Byers jumps ahead of McAdams early, hangs on for 62-45 win in Class 1A Semifinal

Devin Moore turned in a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds

JACKSON — The long 18-year drought is over.

Behind a fast start along with the play of Devin Moore, H.W. Byers raced past McAdams 62-45 in the Semifinal Round of the MHSAA Boys Class 1A playoffs at the Mississippi Coliseum on Monday afternoon.

The Lions (22-4) will face Biggersville for the Class 1A State Championship on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m.

“Came out fast and the guys are excited about being down here,” said Byers coach James Sales. “Got a lot of 50-50 balls and was able to get out in transition and go.”

Byers couldn’t have asked for a better start as the Lions raced out to a 11-2 lead to beging the game and a 19-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.

McAdams went on a 10-4 run midway through the second quarter to cut the Byers lead down to eight points at 23-15. That was the closest the Bulldogs could cut into the lead.

Byers held a 29-17 lead at halftime.

To begin the second half the Lions went on a 10-4 run to extend the lead to 37-21 and from that point on for the rest of the game their lead never did get below 13 points.

Byers held a 43-30 lead at the end of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter Devin Moore made an alley-oop dunk to give Byers a 54-34 lead midway through the fourth quarter to seal the game.

“We got in foul trouble in the second quarter and had to go small and they made a run to get back in the game,” Sales said. “For the last eight games we’ve been trying to do a better job of rebounding and get out in transition. Today we were able to do that.”

Moore had 10 points and 14 rebounds to lead Byers. Michael James had a game-high 16 points and Vincent Talley had 10 points for the Lions.

“We knew we had to jump on them early and build that confidence for the rest of the game,” Moore said. “We’re more of a second half team and in the third quarter is when we make a run and we did. We’re going to have to do the same Thursday because we I think we match up well with Biggersville.”

Byers are back in the 1A state title game for the first time since 2004.

“We been hearing all year about Biggersville and joking we’re the little school on the other side of the highway,” Sales said. “We’re going to be prepared to come play and so will they and see how it will go.”

Kendarrius McBeath had 13 points to lead McAdams (20-9).