Indians win district titles
Holly High beats rival Indians
The Region 3-3A Tournament had different outcomes for Holly High teams, the Lady Hawks eliminated in round one and the Hawks taking the championship.
The tourney, which was held at Byhalia High School, ran from Monday through Friday (no play date on Wednesday). The top seeds, the Holly High Hawks and the Lady Indians of Byhalia, had each received first round byes.
The Lady Hawks and the Lady Wildcats of Independence opened the tournament on Monday afternoon, Feb. 13, with the Lady Kats besting the lady Hawks for the third time this season.
Oddly enough, the Lady Hawks had beaten Independence in a pre-season tournament.
The Hawks tried hard to hang in with the Lady Kats but fell behind when the Lady Kats turned up the pressure in the third quarter.
Independence won 50-36.
The Hawks started their tournament run on Tuesday night, Feb. 14, in the last game, meeting Senatobia after the Warriors had advanced with the eliminating win over North Panola.
For the past few years it would seem that the Hawks and Warriors always seem to meet in the most critical part of the season. And whenever the twain meet, well, it is usually war.
Holly High grabbed its customary lead at the end of the first quarter, a 10-point margin, going without Brandon Ayers who was favoring an injured right ankle. His absence was felt on the wings; however, Antonio Isom and Clifton Rayford rotated to fill the void. They were denying the Warriors nylon access. They led 27-18 at halftime and held Senatobia to a one digit in the third.
They practiced ball control in much of the final quarter, going on to win 60-28.
Jemorris Wilks posted 17 for the Hawks. Rayford had 11 and Clevin had 12. The Warriors didnt have any shooters in double figures.
The victory pushed the defending 3-3A champs into the finals on Friday against the hosting Indians.
The Hawks and Indians had already done battle twice before this season with Holly High taking both. This was a heated contest even before tipoff.
The Indians didnt allow the hawks to race out to a hefty double digit lead in the opening frame.
The score at the end of that quarter was 14-10.
The Indians used Adarryl Richmond and Cordell Jefferson to man the posts and constantly vye for all rebounds. Jefferson was aggressive on the boards and got into foul trouble in the second.
The Hawks carried a 33-25 lead into the break.
The Indians kept battling back and kept trimming the Hawks' lead. Twice they whittled it down to four. But each time, the Hawks were able to push back and make plays which expanded the lead.
The Hawks Clevin Hannah was sent to the charity stripe and strung together eight consecutive points. At the end of three it was 45-36.
The Indians never showed signs of weakening. However, Jefferson fouled out about midway through the fourth. He left with six points but his rebounding assists which had hurt the Hawks all evening were gone. The Indians had to concede at 55-43.
Hannah led the Hawks with 14 points. Brandon Ayers contributed seven points, Jemorris Wilks eight and Clifton Rayford seven.
Richmond led Byhalia with 13, while Demarius Moore, had 10 and Jefferson had six.
The 29-1 Hawks, back-to-back state champions, were scheduled to host the first round Class 3A North State or play-in game against Booneville on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m., while Byhalia was slated to host Mooreville, same day, same time.
The remainder of the Class 3A North State Tournament will be hosted by Ripley, beginning on Thursday of this week.
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