Thursday, January 12, 2006

Holly High, Byers split contests

Sports Editor

It would be a rematch for the Holly High Lady Hawks and the Lady Lions of H.W. Byers when these two teams met on January 3.

The last time they met in the Bi-County Tournament, the Lady Lions knocked off some of the Lady Hawks’ tailfeathers.

The Lady Lions, playing speedily, but controlling the ball, owned a six-point lead (14-8) at the first break on Tuesday of last week. The shots were plentiful from both sides; they just didn’t fall as often as they should have.

Both teams substituted early and liberally. This was a fast and hard played first half, with the members of each team putting their bodies into it. The game was quite physical and the pacemakers for Byers (Amelia Cunningham and Amanda Jones) picked up their third fouls late in the second quarter, and coach Jason Thompson retired them to the bench.

The Lady Hawks were still within striking distance at 27-22 at the intermission.

The third frame saw both teams stepping up their defensive efforts. They took turns swatting the ball away which delighted the full house. Byers was still winning the scoring war, hanging onto a lead which fluctuated between seven and 10 points.

The game had become even more physical at the end of three, but the Lady Hawks were still turning in what was perhaps their best showing of the season against a tough team. The 38-30 score at the third’s end showed Holly High still being aggressive.

The fourth quarter was a different story. The Lady Lions garnered 23 more points while holding the Lady Hawks to 10 for a final score of 61-40.

The Lady Lions had three shooters in double figures, Cunningham with 17, A. Jones with 15 and Ciarra Seldon with 10.

Jackie LeSueur led Holly High with 12 points, followed by Ebony Taylor with 10.

In the nightcap, the Lions squared off against the high-soaring Hawks.

Head coach Gerone Kirkland’s team fell behind the Hawks early in the game, being outscored 24-4 in the opening quarter.

The holiday schedule didn’t seem to affect either team. Both showed speed and toughness. It was the Lions’ gym but the Hawks owned the baskets. The shot gods were not being kind to the hosts. Their shots rimmed out continuously; however, the Lions kept driving the ball at the same pace. The score at the intermission was 43-10.

H.W. Byers kept trying to claw their way back in the third quarter, putting up 11 points in the first four minutes. There was some confusion about a double foul which took some minutes to straighten out by the officials. The 58-22 score at the end of three became part of an insurmountable odd.

The Hawks used the bench constantly in the last quarter with most of the reserves hitting the basket. The Lions still could not find their aim.

The victory went to the Hawks at 74-39, their second over Byers this season. The other came in the title game of the Bi-County.

The Hawks’ Brandon Ayers led the floor with 23 points, and Jemorris Wilks tossed in 12. Antonio Isom had 11. The Lions had no players in double figures.

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