Thursday, February 15, 2007
Lady Lions, Hawks win in rivalry
By CLAUDE VINSON
Once again this season the H.W. Byers teams squared off against a familiar foe in the Holly Springs Lady Hawks and Hawks.
Coach Jason Thompson of the Lady Lions held his starters out for practically the entire first quarter. The Lady Lions were experiencing illness and a few injuries.
He inserted Rachel Jones and Latasha Anderson onto the lineup with two minutes left in the opening frame. Holly High had started the scoring with a freebie. Shooting from the floor was not that hot, but a couple of threes from Ebony Taylor ensured the visitors an 11-3 lead after the first quarter.
The Lady Lions were finding it difficult to erase the first quarter deficit. They went method and cut the lead to a single digit but allowed the Lady Hawks to go back in front as a result of errant passes. Holly High still held a double digit lead at intermission at 26-16.
The Lady Lions, who did not get to the line at all in the first half, fared better after Simone Ryan joined the lineup. Ryan immediately planted two from the charity stripe. The Lady Hawks were not protecting the ball all that well inthe third and Byers made a jump on their lead; however, it wasn’t enough to overtake and the Lady Lions were still down at the end of the quarter at 38-29.
Holly High tried to hang onto the decent lead in the fourth, but the Byers girls were doing everything to live up the reputation which they had acquired this season. Jones seemed to take the load squarely on her shoulders, cutting the lead to seven and then dishing to Ciara Seldon, who took it down to four. Shortly thereafter, Marian Parker tied it on a breakaway.
Taylor came back and untied it. But the Lady lions sent up three unanswered points. Taylor was fouled on an attempt with seconds left. She went to the line, sank one and bounced the other hard off the glass which landed in the hands of Tamekico Johnson who sent it into overtime.
Jones came out with renewed determination in overtime. She quickly earned Byers a four-point lead at 61-57. The Lady Hawks had to resort to fouling and Jones finished it off at the line at 63-57.
Seldon led the Lady Lions with 19. Jones had 15 and Parker 10.
Holly High’s Taylor led the floor with 25 points, followed by JaShanta Walker with 10.
Hawks take nightcap from Lions in the Lions’ den
The overflowing crowd was treated to another spectacular game when the Lions faced the Hawks. This was another classic county matchup that started fast and ended fast.
The teams went through a period of feeling each other out; however, it was not done in slow motion. Each was pushing the ball up and down the floor and trying for high percentage shots. Holly High won the first period, getting a 12-9 lead.
The second started with a bang when Justin LeSeuer threw down a slam which brought the Holly Springs chorus to its collective feet. The Hawks were still in front at half time with a score of 21-18. The low score was directly attributed to tactful defenses and deliberate offenses. Both teams seemed content to work the ball outside, angling for a productive shot.
Scoring was also low in the third, but there was a lot more action. The Lions would not go away. They stayed closed but could not dispel the two- to four-point lead held by the Hawks. Then Daniel Burton and Cordell Jefferson went on a points quest and collected a dozen before Byers cooled them down. The third went with Holly High in control at 39-32.
The play became even more torrid in the final quarter and while the officiating left a lot to be desired, the Hawks continued to set Jefferson up under the boards. He put the icing on the victory cake with a slamm to make it 53-45 for the Hawks.
Jefferson had a total point spread of 22, while LeSeuer pitshed in 13.
Darrius Wells paced the Lions with 11 and Tristan Kizer backed him with 10.
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