Thursday, February 16, 2006
High split games
By CLAUDE VINSON
Another great county rivalry was renewed Tuesday night of last week when the Lady Lions and Lions from H.W. Byers came to test the Hawks and Lady Hawks on their home court. The interest is always high and the attendance is maxed out.
The clock had shown that two minutes had expired in the Lady Hawks and Lady Lions game and the score was still 0-0. The hosts were getting good looks at the basket, but none were going through.
Ciara Seldon of Byers got one to connect and Ebony Taylor for Holly High drove the length of the court to even it up.
During the entire first quarter, they kept pace with each other, neither side allowing the other any measurable advantage. The first ended with an 8-8 knot.
As the second quarter unfolded, Amanda Jones gave the Byers contingent cause to cheer with a long three. Then the tide turned. Holly High was taking Byers away from its game. Freshman Katia Isom was finding her low post spot and dumping them in.
The Lady Hawks earned their largest lead of the game by going ahead 29-24. But the Lady Lions flexed their claws and cut it to two at the half, 29-27.
The Lady Lions started to make better shot selections and went up by seven in the first three minutes. The Lady Hawks seemed powerless to slow them down. They had a hefty lead of 52-37 at the end of three.
The Lady Lions did a lot of damage with the three-ball in the fourth frame and the Lady Hawks couldnt manage the Byers offense.
The Lady Lions coasted to a 71-49 win and upped their season mark to 17-12.
In the first half we were dragging our feet, said Jason Thompson, head coach of the Lady Lions, and Holly High played solid. In the second half we turned it up a notch.
Holly High had three shooters in double figures - Ebony Taylor with 16, Jackie LeSueur with 13 and Isom with 10.
Jones led the Lady Lions with 17. Amelia Cunningham and Marian Parker had 10 each.
This was the third defeat of the Lady Hawks by the Lady Lions this season.
The crowd was all too ready for the nightcap. The tip went from Jemorris Wilks to Clevin Hannah, well outside the arc, and the launched ball hit nothing but net.
Set up by Wilks each time, Brandon Ayers made two consecutive monster dunks. Both balls were pirated by Hannah.
A short while later and still in the first frame, the Hawks turned it into a dunk and trey fest. Wilks pelted the nylon with a pair of threes and a pair of dunks to give the Hawks a 31-12 lead after one.
The Lions did pick up 11 points in the second quarter but Holly High still had the big lead at 37-23.
Not giving up, the Lions began testing the Hawks defense in the third. They were trying to push the ball inside to their big man, Brandon Young. They met with partial success.
Throughout the third and fourth quarters the Hawks lead hovered around 20 points.
The Hawks went on to win at 66-49 and improve to 27-0.
We played good the first quarter, said Naylond Hayes, head coach of the Hawks, and after we got the big lead we slacked up.
Nick Tate led the visitors scoring effort with 12. Young and Tristan Kizer had 10 apiece. Byers record dropped to 16-13.
Wilks led the Hawks with 27. Hannah had 15, while Ayers had 10, and Dennis Hampton eight.
This contest also featured Senior Night. All seniors and their parents were recognized between games. Senior cheerleaders honored were Amber Jeffries, Marchandria Thomas, Whitney Snow, Latoya Glover, Cierra Tucker and Sasha Marsh.
The lone Lady Hawk was Jackie LeSueur.
Hawks were Brandon Ayers, Clevin Hannah, Anthony Isom, Dennis Hampton, Jemorris Wilks and Corey Jeffries.
The Holly High teams were set to enter the divisional playoffs this week with the girls scheduled to play Monday at 4 p.m. The boys received a first round bye and were scheduled for 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The tournament, which continues Thursday and Friday, will be held at Byhalia High School.
H.W. Byers teams are competing this week in the Region 1-2A Tournament at Baldwyn. The girls opened play Monday against Baldwyn and the boys Tuesday verus East Union. The tournament semi-finals and finals are set for Thursday and Friday.
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