Thursday, January 24, 2008
Lady Lions, Hawks win in county rivalryBy CLAUDE VINSON
The Holly Springs Lady Hawks would be pitted against a county rival from a different class but with a stellar record.
Class 2A neighbor Byers had earned the record by taking on a few schools outside their class. For the 20-3 Lady Lions, they would be facing a 3A opponent for the second time in three days.
The hosts struck first Friday night but Ciara Seldon came out and hit three consecutive triples to move Byers out to a 10-4 advantage. JaShanta Walker sank four for Holly High but Rachel Jones hit a trey from the right corner to give the Lady Lions the mark of 13-8 when the quarter ended.
In the second quarter, Symone Gorman re-introduced her open “back door” policy which she had employed against the Lady Indians with much success. She hit three in a row to widen the gap. Walker was doing her best to keep the Lady Hawks in the game. But Byers had a seven points lead at the half at 31-24.
After the intermission Holly High threatened with a 5-0 run. This seemed to have re-energized the Lady Lions’ Jones.The junior guard turned into a diminutive dynamo and made blistering forays down the lane, still finding time to plant a couple more treys. She also dished out a number of assists.
Nothing seemed to be falling into place for the Lady Hawks. Both teams were about even at the charity stripe. But Byers was getting the most benefit from the floor shots.
Byers was out front 50-35 at the end of three.
The fourth quarter was not enough for the Lady Hawks to overtake the Byers lead. although they outscored the Lady Lions by two points. The final favored the visitors at 60-45.
Holly High was paced by Walker with 18 and Katia Isom with 12.
Byers, who improved to 21-3, was fueled by the performances of Jones with 24 and Seldon with 18 (four treys). Simone Ryan had eight and Gorman hit six.
Hawks best Lions to prevent sweep
The Hawks’ opponent of the evening didn’t have a seasonal record which matched theirs, however; they were celebrating a big win over Byhalia a few nights earlier.
Fast breaks were the order of the evening. During the first quarter, the Hawks came out on the long end of that straw but the scoring was relatively low with Holly High getting the 16-6 lead.
The Hawks got their share of calls and the close-in baskets in the second quarter. The pace did not slow at all. Marvin Rayford and Justin Owens teamed to give the Hawks a real scare with their above the rim play. Daniel Burton countered for the Hawks. He had started to take it hard to the boards earlier, but had slacked off. He stepped up again and allowed the Hawks to have the better of it at 31-21 at intermission.
The quickness of the game went down slightly in the third, but Byers had begun beating Holly High to the rebounds.The Lions had trimmed the lead down to seven points with a little over a minute left. The Hawks moved it back up a notch at 45-36.
The game got interesting in the final frame. It was apparent that the Lions’ tenacious play was wearing the Hawks down. Jerome Richmond pulled the Lions to within one point. But Burton would not concede. He was still keeping the Hawks tail feathers out of the Lions mouth. Then he got some help. Darius Dowdy stepped up and in. He gave the Hawks the impetus they needed. Holly High went on to win 64-53.
Burton led the Hawks, who improved to 14-6 on the season, with 19 points.
Owens canned five triples for the Lions, who dropped to 8-14. Rayford threw in 16 and Fred Jones had 10 for Holly High.
The Hawks and Lady Hawks were scheduled to host Lewisburg Tuesday. They then go to North Panola Friday and host Rosa Fort next Tuesday, Jan. 29.
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