Thursday, March 17, 2005

Hawks bring home 3A gold
  • ‘Dream Game II’ cancelled; Hayes praises his squad


“Dream Game II” pitting Holly Springs against Lanier was cancelled Monday at the local level, according to Naylond Hayes, head coach of the Hawks.

Holly High, the Class 3A state basketball champion, was scheduled to challenge Lanier, the Class 4A champ, on Tuesday night at Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson. The game had been scheduled by the Mississippi High School Activities Association and promoted in the Jackson media and elsewhere. Lanier is ranked number one, statewide in all classifications, by The Clarion-Ledger, and Holly Springs is number two.

In the state’s first “Dream Game” back in 1992, two-time 4A state champion Lawrence County beat two-time 5A state champ Murrah 58-56. It was played at Jackson State University.

Hayes had no further comment on the reason for the cancellation. Superintendent of Education Judy Smith was not available for comment before press deadline. The South Reporter’s sports section is printed early on Tuesday morning.

“We are not going to play,” Hayes said.

He praised his Hawks, who won their second straight Class 3A state crown last Friday night by beating Franklin County 47-35. The team finished a remarkable 34-1.

“I’m proud of this team — very proud,” Hayes said. “Last year we were super-talented.

“This year overall we were not as talented, but we had a lot of heart. We played better defense. The desire was much stronger, and it had to be, to win it back-to-back.

“This group played much more as a team.”

The Hawks are the first repeat 3A champions since Corinth in 1989-90.

Hayes loses four seniors — Kenny Dawkins, DeUntral Mosley, Justin Nabors and Charles Johnson.

“We will have Clevin (Hannah) back, and we will likely move Brandon (Ayers) to the other guard spot,” he said. “Plus we have some good kids we expect to step up. I think we will be OK.”

Ayers also said he is looking forward to playing for Coach Hayes for another season.

“I have learned a lot from Coach Hayes,” he said. “The team atmosphere has been real good.”

Hayes is the 3A Coach of the Year, plus Dandy Dozen and Player of the Year (3A) Dawkins also made the All-State Tournament Team with teammates Hannah and Nabors.

Dawkins, who has not decided on a college yet, said it has been wonderful playing for Hayes these past few seasons and winning two state titles.

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