Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hawks keep rolling, beat Olive Branch

Sports Editor

The Holly Springs High School teams found themselves vying with another 5A school in two days. They split with Tupelo on Friday and traveled to Olive Branch and the home of the Conquistadors on Saturday.

The top-ranked, unbeaten Hawks have become the drawing card for North Mississippi basketball, selling out venue after venue.

The Lady Hawks opened the twinbill at Olive Branch with the same energized spirit and actually tied the game at 5 with the Lady Conquistadors in the opening quarter. The evenness didn’t last.

The Lady Hawks started to turn the ball over and the Lady ’Qs went on a scoring spurt and closed the quarter at 17-7.

The Lady Hawks made a run for it in the second quarter. They began taking better care of the ball and Ebony Taylor’s game caught fire. Also, Katrina Cowan started to land in threes. They pulled to within six at the half, 25-19.

Holly High appeared to have lost some of their concentration in the third and fell behind by 15 points. They trailed 46-27 at the end of three after Olive Branch sank a trey at the buzzer.

The Lady ’Qs slacked up a little in the last frame but still got progressive performances from their reserves. They went on to win 60-37.

Their main thrust was led by Delissa Smith with 18 and Shakinna Burt with 17.

Taylor led the Lady Hawks with 12, Cowan had nine, all threes, and Acie Brown hit for six.

The Conquistadors had heard of the Hawks’ victory over Tupelo and decided to play a conservative game. They controlled the ball outside, trying to throw the Hawks out of sync.

The first three minutes of the contest yielded only four points. And all of those went to Holly High.

There was a battle royal waged at both ends of the court for rebounds. It would be too close to call which team had the rebounding edge.

There were few shots that went unchallenged. The first frame ended with a score of 11-5.

In the second frame the Olive Branch coach tried different combos, trying to find a formidable match for the Hawks’ guard force. Near the end of the second, the Hawks started to close the door on the Conquistadors, allowing them just six points for the quarter.

The ’Qs tried to push back in the third. They lobbed a few treys and went to a wide 3-2 offensive stance with three forwards. They worked the perimeters hard and managed to cut the Hawks’ lead to 12. They continued the format into the final quarter and it burned the clock and slowed the Hawks’ scoring game.

The Hawks still walked away with the 62-44 victory.

Rod Pegues and Bret Parmelee led the hosts with 15 and 14, respectively.

The Hawks, who remained undefeated at 21-0, got a 21-point performance from Clevin Hannah, a 16 output from Brandon Ayers and 14 from Jemorris Wilks. Antonio Isom threw in eight.

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