Thursday, November 10, 2005

Holly High opens with easy victory

Sports Editor

The Hawks and Lady Hawks were at home to the Lady Cougars and Cougars of Coldwater last Thursday night. It was the season opener for the Hawks. The Coldwater teams had started their season a few days earlier.

There were no empty seats for any part of this contest. It was a complete sellout before the tipoff whistle blew for the beginning of the girls’ game.

The Lady Cougars pushed the ball for two whole quarters. Ball control was a big factor for the Lady Hawks. The first quarter ended with visitors out front 11-3.

The second frame was a replay of the first with Coldwater controlling the boards at both ends. They were hitting about forty percent of their shots. The Lady Hawks still were not finding the bottom of the nylon. At halftime the Lady Cougars still led 34-15.

The second half opened with a trey from Lady Hawk Katrina Cowan. But the Lady Cougars’ Ashley Daniels and Delshaundra Page were showing up big on the offensive end. They took feeds from Kayla Davis and Lanita Futrell and turned them into points.

Nearing the close of the third quarter, Page became the force. She constantly stepped beyond the arc to plant threes. Coldwater led by 26 going into the fourth.

The Lady Hawks could not close the gap. They could find only nine points in the last frame. The final was 69-39.

Ebony Taylor led the Lady Hawks with 18.

The Lady Cougars were led by Delshaundra Page with 13 and Kayla Davis with 11. Ashley Daniels threw in 10.

The Lady Hawks have a new assistant coach this season. Ramona Fernandez joins head coach Wilbert Beard on the Lady Hawks bench.

For a very brief spell on Thursday night, the Holly High Hawks didn’t resemble the old rock’em, sock’em team of a year ago. But that was only for a very brief moment.

The Hawks increased the tempo and it kept building until they had a 28-3 lead over the visiting Cougars at the end of the first stanza.

Brandon Ayers, one of the returning wizards from the state championship team and a member of the Mississippi Dandy Dozen, showing off an ability which emanates from a gene pool of two SEC standouts and Ole Miss products (Joe Ayers and Maxine Tucker), led the Hawks to a 44-12 halftime lead.

Clevin Hannah, another member of the Dandy Dozen crop, kept the Cougars off kelter with his speed and ball control. When he was checking the arc line to launch treys, he was dishing out assists.

The Cougars came out of the locker room showing a lot more aggression after the intermission and it did appear to slow the Hawks a bit. But it only meant that the Hawks became more conscious of their shot selections.

Even the crowd which had maintained a cacaphonus pitch throughout had calmed some. However, the overflow crowd was brought back into it when Clifton Rayford went high to slam one through. The third ended a few seconds later with the Hawks in front 60-24.

The Hawks bench started to see some playing time at about the two minute mark and some of the huge attendance started to drift towrds the exits.

The reserves added 14 more points to make it a final 74-44.

High point honors went to Jemorris Wilks with 15. Hannah had 14 points and 13 assists, while Ayers had 10 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. Daniel Burton added 10 points.

The Hawks next game was at Ashland on Tuesday. They will play in the Coldwater Tournament this week, and then go to Booker T. Washington next Tuesday, Nov. 15. Their next home game is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 17, against Olive Branch.

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