Thursday, February 3, 2005

Holly High sweeps Ashland, splits with Ripley

Sports Editor

In a game which reached NSRO (no standing room only) right after the anthem was played, the rivalry implications were not obvious but there just the same.

“We probably could not count all the times that we have played each other over the years.”

Those were the words of Jesse Terry, mentor to both Ashland teams. He was referring to contests in which he and Wilbert Beard (now the head coach of the Holly High Lady Hawks) had gone head to head in careers which had spanned two decades.

“We have had some interesting match-ups,” he said.

And this one would be no different. There were no playoff implications attached to this game - just inter-county bragging rights. And the Lady Hawks came out with bragging on their minds and went to a 17-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.

They continued to build on the lead in the second with Catasha Boxley coming off the bench and pumping up an offense which allowed them the confidence to go to the three ball. The shots didn’t fall all that often, however, it had the adverse affect of giving Martamara Richard fast break opportunities. She made four trips down the floor and netted eight points for Ashland which allowed them to go into the halftime with a five-point deficit at 26-21.

The Lady Hawks came out after the change of baskets with Tremelanie McFadden operating at point and forcing the ball into Boxley. But throughout the third quarter Lady Devil Richard kept up the pace. She beat the clock with nine clicks to pull the Lady Devils to within four points as the quarter ended.

But this would be a night when the celebration would go to the Lady Hawks. They held on in the fourth and survived with a 53-47 win.

Boxley led the Lady Hawks with 13, followed by Kimberly McKinney with 11.

Richard paced the Lady Devils with 12, backed by Vakeila Crawford with 11.

Hawks scorch Blue Devils

The Hawks left little doubt who would be in charge of this one. They  were perhaps thinking , as were the Blue Devils, that this would be a running game.

It was. When Clevin Hannah was not pumping them in from beyond the arc, he was slicing the lane, catching posted players completely off guard. From the 26-11 first quarter to the 42-21 score at halftime, the Devils knew that they were going to need more than pitch forks.

It wasn’t that the Hawks’ defense was that oppressive, it was the offense which hurt Ashland. DeUntral “Duke” Mosley was the chief custodian, picking up most missed shots and converting them into second chance points. The Hawks also wounded Ashland at the charity stripe, hitting 17 of 22 attempts.

It wasn’t that the Blue Devils weren’t trying; they got multiple looks on many occasions, but they wouldn’t drop through.

It was a walk in the park after the third frame. The 71-33 deficit eventually buried the Blue Devils.

The Hawks went on to the 94-47 victory, improving to 20-1 on the season. Ashland, 5-0 in their division, improved 17-4 overall.

Hannah led the scoring combine for Holly High with 27. Mosley weighed in with 24; Justin Nabors threw in 18; and Kenny Dawkins contributed 17.

Terrell Henderson led Ashland with 13 points.

Lady Hawks almost pull off upset of Ripley

The division-leading Lady Tigers of Ripley rolled into Hawks country on Friday night and downed their last divisional foe.

They ran to a 14-6 first quarter lead. Holly High’s Catasha Boxley, Tremelanie McFadden and JoAnna Isom didn’t enter the game until there were 16 seconds left in the first. However, with a fresh eight minutes, the trio began to shake out some points.

Kimberly McKinney, along with running down some rebounds, cut the lead to just one point with 56 seconds left in the half. But the Lady Tigers were also playing against the clock. And Ripley came out on top after both sides traded “threes.”

The Lady Hawks slowed the pace in the second half a bit. They became more deliberate and patient; however, Ripley was methodically building another double-digit lead. But Holly High put on a spurt and got it back down to 45-38 at the buzzer.

Holly High again went with pressure play opening the final frame. With a “three-ball” from McKinney, a couple of “two balls” from McKinney and a couple of jumpers from Isom they had the deficit down to four. With a little over three minutes remaining in the contest, they were threatening the powerful former 3A champs.

But the Ripley coach called for a freeze and held the ball for over a minute, protecting a 57-53 lead. They tacked on one more point after contact to make it final at 58-53.

The Lady Tigers moved to 20-5 overall and 7-0 in division.

Jackie LeSeuer and JoAnna Isom hit in double figures with 14 and 12, respectively.

For Ripley it was Yardi Martin with 17, Erica Timmins with 14 and Leslie Atkins with 11.

Dawkins leads Holly High over Ripley Tigers.

In a game fueled by a 20-point performance from Kenny Dawkins, the Hawks disposed of division foe Ripley to maintain a spotless record in its 3A division and moved to 21-1 on the season.

In a low scoring first frame of 12-9, the Ripley Tigers, one of the better teams in the 3A division, were happy to be able to trade baskets with the high-soaring Hawks.

The Hawks seemed to have a bit of a problem establishing their usual rhythm before plastering the nylon with balls which leave opponents in the dust.

Holly High was steadily adding points but not at the usual rate. Things sped up after Dawkins beat the buzzer with one of his three balls. It gave the Hawks a 29-16 halftime lead and really turned up the heat.

Holly High kept pouring it on, with Dawkins and Clevin Hannah constantly penetrating a soft Ripley 2-3 defense which increased the score to 50-27 at the end of the third.

The Hawks then coasted to the 61-45 victory.

Ripley was stopped except from the trey pitching duo of Quinn Williamson and Buck Johnson, who had 22 and 14 points, respectively.

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