Byars nets 2,000th career point as Cards and Lady Cards pound Paris

Published 3:30 pm Monday, January 23, 2023

At first glance, Friday night’s atmosphere at GRC Arena may have appeared like any other 40th District matchups.

However, it soon became apparent that this would be a night to remember for both the Lady Cards and Cards.

Senior Brianna Byars scored her 2,000th career point in the Lady Cards’ (13-6) triumph, and the Cards broke into triple digits offensively as the teams came out with victories by 62-40 and 103-48 scores.

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“It’s a good feeling,” said Byars. “It comes with a lot of [tradition] behind that name, and I just try to live up to the standards that Coach Graham has set.”

The Lady Cards were coming off a difficult loss against Frederick Douglass, who rallied for a victory on Wednesday night.

They showed signs of a quick recovery early on, outsourcing the Lady Hounds 16-5 for an 11-point lead after the opening quarter.

However, led by 22 points from Sanaa Jackson, the Lady Hounds cut the lead in half midway through the third quarter.

Going to his bench, Coach Graham called upon seventh grader Kyleigh Chestnut to enter the game.

Chestnut scored on her first shot attempt and would finish with twelve points after scoring ten in the fourth quarter as GRC pulled away.

“We don’t just coach the starting five or top six. We coach everybody up…you just never know when your number is [going to] be called”, said Lady Cards head coach Robbie Graham. “I know she sparked us…she can definitely knock some shots down.”

With two minutes remaining, Byars scored by – perhaps appropriately – using defense to create offense.

After stealing the ball, she raced to the basket and – despite the presence of a defender – was able to convert on a layup.

Following the announcement, time was taken for a standing ovation from the crowd.

She even received a hug from Paris Head Coach Aaron Speaks.

“It’s been a pleasure to coach her [and] to see her reach these milestones,” Graham added. “She’s just such a great kid on and off the floor.”

On Saturday, the Lady Cards returned to action against highly-ranked McCracken County in Louisville in the Raatz Fence/O’Shea’s Classic.

Unfortunately, the result would not be the same as they fell to the Lady Mustangs by a 62-44 score.

Ciara Byars was the Lady Cards’ leading scorer with 16 points.

Following the Lady Cards’ victory, the Cards (14-4) took to the floor.

From the get-go, they were able to connect offensively and never looked back.

“I thought we shared the basketball. I thought that was one of our better games throughout the season,” said GRC Head Coach Josh Cook. “We’re playing truly [unselfishly], and I also give credit to our practices. The past couple practices we’ve had have been really good.”

The Cards saw eight different players find the scoreboard, including three 20-point scorers in Jerone Morton (26), Trent Edwards (25), and Sam Parrish (21).

It was more than enough to overcome Malachi Ashford’s team-leading 14 points for the Greyhounds, as the Cards’ held Paris to 29.8% field goal shooting.

As the game progressed, the Cards found a familiar sighting as Parrish and Edwards connected on several alley-oop plays.

The result was a bevy of slam dunks that drew a highly positive reaction from those in attendance.

“We played [well]. We played as a team and executed,” said Edwards.

Edwards has also led the team often in rebounds and blocks throughout the season.

“I just see the ball go up and make sure the rebound goes into my hands,” he said. “They come towards me, and I just block it.”

The Lady Cards and Cards return to action Tuesday night with back-to-back matchups against Bourbon County at GRC Arena. The Lady Cards tip off at 6:00 p.m. while the Cards start at 7:30.