Thursday, December 8, 2005

Lady Cardinals, Lady Indians, Hawks win on day two of tournament

By CLAUDE VINSON
Sports Editor

The second day of the second season for the Bi-County Tournament, which was played at the Howard Coliseum in Senatobia on the Northwest Mississippi Community College campus, continued to satisfy fans who were diligently following their favorite teams.

Lady Cardinals-Lady Hawks

The Holly High Lady Hawks were contesting the Lady Cardinals of Potts Camp in the lead-off game.

The tip went to the Lady Cardinals and the early minutes of the first quarter were filled with traveling calls and little scoring. Both teams were getting good looks at the basket, but the shots weren’t falling. However, Potts Camp trailed by two points, 11-9, going into the second frame.

In the second, the teams became more aggressive on defense especially at the low post. The score was close due mainly to the perimeter shooting of Potts Camp and the close-in buckets from Holly High. The Lady Cardinals took the lead for the first time on a frontal shot by Latrece Walker.

The Lady Cardinals kept going to the free throw line, hitting 60 percent of their gratis shots. They built the lead to six at intermission.

Potts Camp came out of the locker room with a burst of speed. With Walker, Jasmine Harmon and Kenyotta Jenkins forming a three-prong arch around the basket, the Cardinals stopped the Hawk offense. And with Jenkins making a prosperous living at the charity stripe, the Lady Cardinals ran up a 35-20 lead near the end of the third.

In the fourth, Jenkins willed her stock in the free throw market to Walker. With her work at the line and performance in the paint, Potts Camp kept digging a deeper hole for the Lady Hawks. With one minute left in the contest it was below sea level at 54-32. The final was 56-34.

The Lady Hawks moved to 1-9 and the Lady Cardinals improved to an even 6-6.

Potts Camp’s Walker led the floor with 26 points. Jenkins had a 12 point effort and Harmon put up nine.

Ebony Taylor paced the Lady Hawks with 17.

This would be the last appearance for both of these teams in the tournament.

Lady Indians-Lady Devils

The second game of the second day saw two girls teams meet head on to determine who would meet the H.W. Byers Lady Lions in the tournament finals.

The game got off to a slow start. It appeared that the contestants were sizing each other up. The majority of the trips up and down the floor were fruitless although the Ashland Lady Blue Devils had a 12-7 lead at the first frame’s end.

The Lady Blue Devils managed to hang onto the vapor thin lead until a minute and a half left in the second quarter. Then Byhalia’s Ashley Wilson took a pass and hit a long turnaround jumper from the corner to even the score at 18 all.

The third frame was a test of defensive postures and a close score. But the Lady Indians had crept into the lead and had a score of 28-25 when the third ended. At one point, the Lady Blue Devils had allowed the Lady Indians to take a 10-point lead after a 7-0 run.

But the Lady Blue Devils didn’t fold and they didn’t go away. They kept fighting back on the fleetness of their guards. But in the end the Lady Indians were just six points too much at 47-41.

Lashonda Odum led all double figure shooters with 17. Chasidy Kizer struck for 12 to aid in the Byhalia victory.

Sandricka Bowen led the Lady Blue Devils with 10, followed by Martamara Richard with seven.

Byhalia would advance to face Byers on Saturday.

Hawks-Blue Devils

The close out game on day two was an anticipated contest between the Holly High Hawks and the Blue Devils of Ashland.

The Hawks are riding their crest of success from the last two seasons and are as yet undefeated this season. The Blue Devils, also state champs of the past, always seem to match up well with the Hawks.

The Hawks don’t look past any opponent, and they generally try to make early statements in all their games. This one was not any different.

Brandon Ayers opened the scoring for the Hawks with a slam after taking a pass from Clevin Hannah. Ayers then came back with a long trey from deep left. Getting in on the act, Hannah brought the Howard Coliseum crowd to its feet once again with a one-handed jam after an alley-oop pass. The first quarter ended with a 22-9 lead for Holly High.

The Ayers air show continued in the second quarter with a pair of thundering dunks. But the Blue Devils were keeping their composure and trying to stay in the game. The Hawks were out front 41-21 at halftime.

In the third, Ashland’s big man, Mario Jones, kept the Devils in the game with his timely putbacks. They were not enough to pose an immediate threat but kept a glimmer of hope alive for a comeback. The difference was 16 points (53-37) when the third quarter ended.

The Hawks slowed their blistering pace, substituting and settling into a half court defensive posture. The Devils kept chipping at the Holly High lead, trimming it to 16 points for the second time. They got it down to 13 points before time ran out. The Hawks had taken the victory, 63-50.

Ayers led his team with 29 points. Hannah posted 11.

Jones registered 14 for the Devils and Calvin Hampton was next with eight.


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