Thursday, July 21, 2005

Ayers, Hannah, Hayes lead North to all-star game win
• Ayers scores 31, earns MVP honor, wins dunking contest

By BARRY BURLESON
Editor

The Holly Springs High School duo of Brandon Ayers and Clevin Hannah combined for 45 points in the North’s win Thursday night.

Ayers was the shooting star of the 51st annual Mississippi High School all-star boys basketball game at A.E. Wood Coliseum in Clinton. He scored 31 points, just missing an all-star record of 32 tallied by Doug Hutton of Clinton in 1960, as the North defeated the South 90-80.

Holly High’s Naylond Hayes, one of the North coaches, said he was told how close Ayers was to the record with less than a minute to go in the game.

“We had the ball, and we tried to get Brandon (Ayers) to post up down low, but he broke out high,” Hayes said.

Ayers had no knowledge of the record until talking with reporters after the game.

“I was thinking only about playing team ball,” he told them.

The 6’3” Ayers hit six three-pointers. He was named the Most Valuable Offensive Player, and also won the slam dunk competition.

“Brandon (Ayers) played with a lot of confidence,” said Hayes, who has led the Hawks to back-to-back Class 3A state crowns. “I knew he could do it. His stock definitely went up.

“He and Clevin (Hannah) have to take over and carry us this year if we’re going anywhere.”

The 5’11” Hannah followed with 14 points and dished out five assists.

His lob pass to Ayers for a two-handed dunk ignited the crowd and gave the North a 68-61 lead with 10:18 left.

“After that, things were easier,” Hayes said. “The other team folded a little bit.”

The North fell behind 19-8 in the early going, but battled back to tie it at 26. The game was knotted at 46 at the half. Sixteen of Ayers’ points came in the second half.

“In the first half, they (the South) hit seven of nine threes,” Hayes said. “We were standing around on defense.

“In the second half, we picked up our defense.”

Cordario Calvin of Greenville added 13 points for the North. Derrick Bails of Ripley had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

David Howard of Wayne County led the South with 12 points, while Jonathan Boyd of Durant, Regis Huddleston of Bay Springs and Ludovic Dovonou of St. Stanislaus had 11 points each. Andre Stephens of Heidelberg, named Best Defensive Player, scored 10 points.

The North has won five of the last six games in the series, but still trails in the series 32-19.

Coach Hayes said the all-star experience for his players and him was a good one.

“We ate well,” he said. “It was like a vacation for me.”

Hayes also formally accepted his award as the Mississippi Association of Coaches’ Class 3A Coach of the Year for the 2004-05 season.


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Report News: (662) 252-4261 or south@dixie-net.com
Questions, comments, corrections:
south@dixie-net.com
2004, The South Reporter, All Rights Reserved.
No part of this site may be reproduced in any way without permission.
The South Reporter is a member of the Mississippi Press Association.

Web Site managed and maintained by
South Reporter webmasters Linda Jones, Kristian Jones
Web Site Design - The South Reporter

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