Thursday, December 29, 2005

Holly High takes two from North Panola

Sports Editor

For the the first time this season, the Lady Hawks found themselves evenly matched in the wins column with an opponent. The Lady Cougars of North Panola, led by second year head coach Joceylen Frost, arrived at the Hawks arena with a 2-8 record and the Lady Hawks were 2-12.

The visitors controlled the jump with D. Thomas taking it straight to the hoop for the opening two. The teams then started trading baskets, but Thomas found a way to muscle her way into advantageous post positions.

The Lady Hawks kept it close, at one point taking a one-point lead. The Lady Cougars rebounded and had a six-point lead at the end of one quarter.

Lady Cougar T. William went on a three quest at the start of the second and captured a trio half-way through the second. But Holly High would not back off and Katrina Cowan popped a pair of treys to send the Lady Hawks ahead for the second time with 2:28 left. The lead held and the Lady Hawks were on top 32-28 at the half.

The Lady Hawks cemented their charge in the third, gaining a 10-point lead in just 1:20. All of the quick points came via North Panola turnovers.

The Lady Hawks then went on a scoring binge after that, running up a 20-point gap.

The Lady Cougars went to a girl-to-girl, full-court press, but Holly High still maintained the 20- plus margin. The Lady Hawks stayed out front for the remainder of the third and for most of the fourth. Even the bench players kept the wide lead until the very last minutes. The final score was 75-61.

An altercation occurred between a couple of players after the game was over – most likely the result of an infraction during the contest. The incident marred the third victory of the season for the Lady Hawks. Wilbert Beard, the head coach for Holly High, said the school would await a final assessment from the game officials before taking any action.

Ebony Taylor led the Lady Hawks with 17. Katia Isom followed her with 14 and Jackie LeSueur rounded out the scoring with 13.

D. Thomas and T. William led the visitors with 13 each.

Hawks vs. Cougars

The Cougars, under first year coach Jamone Edwards, controlled the tip, but the Hawks stopped the ball and hit five quick unanswered points.

The Cougars acted as though they came prepared to run with the Hawks and even kept the fast pace for a few minutes. But Brandon Ayers started planting threes and at the first break the hosts were up 23-10.

That score at the end of the first quarter indicated that the Cougars would not be any scoring threat to the unbeaten team named number one in the state’s Super Ten by The Clarion Ledger.

Ayers made hash of the North Panola “goal line” defense, and his efforts, aided by Clevin Hannah, Jemorris Wilks, Dennis Hampton and Daniel Burton, sent the Hawks into the locker room at halftime with a 49-16 advantage.

Head coach Naylond Hayes substituted randomly and each replacement entering the game hit the nylon. The Cougars managed only 14 points in the third quarter with the Hawks dominating at 72-30.

The Cougars ran out of steam in the final frame, putting up just three points. The Hawks went on to a 90-33 victory and improved their season mark to 15-0.

Ayers’ 26 points led the floor, and he was trailed by Hannah with 14 and Jajuan Porter with 10.

For North Panola, R. Jefferson led the way with 14 points.

The last game of the calendar year for the Hawks will be a trip to Rosa Fort at Tunica on Friday night, January 30. Next Tuesday, January 3, Holly High teams travel to H.W. Byers, and on Friday, January 6, they go to rival Byhalia for important district contests.

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