Thursday, December 25, 2008
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Holly High teams lost divisional contests Friday night to their rivals to the west; however, they forced the visitors to overtime in both games.
The Holly High Lady Hawks came out of the gate against the heavily-favored Rosa Fort Lady Lions with talons extended. Over halfway through the first frame the Lady Hawks were out front 8-0. Coach Wilbert Beard was exhorting his players to work from outside. They were making high percentage shots. Rosa Fort was shooting sparingly. They were not invading. The Lady Hawks ended the first quarter in control 10-2. Holly High’s post play was very impressive.
The Lady Lions started to attack in the second and picked up 15 points. Holly High was defending their territory in admirable fashion and threw in 13 points of their own. They led it at intermission by six points (23-17). JaShanta Walker was taking every advantage of the open back door.
The third was almost cat and mouse. Neither team was exerting a lot of pressure on defense. Both were forsaking the long ball for the close in and short jumper. But the Holly High girls, perhaps playing their best game of the season thus far, was maintaining a respectable distance and closed the quarter at 39-31.
It became interesting in the fourth. Rosa Fort, which had not led in the contest, went to a full hard press. The Lady Hawks soon saw their once double-digit edge dwindle to three. Then a Lady Lion reserve, who had just entered the game, planted a trey followed by a deuce. Rosa Fort had walked to within two at 42-40. Jacarra Fell nailed another trey to give the visitors their first lead. Trailing 50-48, Walker tied it at 50-all with one second left to send it into overtime.
The Lady Hawks kept battling, tied it twice more and then Zambree Taylor probably put it beyond Holly High’s reach with 18 seconds left. The final was 59-55.
Taylor (Rosa Fort) and Walker (Holly High) tied for high point honors with 26 each. Other heavy hitters for Tunica were Sheronda Vaughn with 12 and Sherra Payno with eight. Rosa Fort went to 10-4.
Backing up Walker for Holly High were Tamekico Johnson with 15 and Katia Isom with 13.
Hawks drop first division game to Rosa Fort Lions
Scoring was low in the opening quarter of the boys matchup between Holly Springs and Rosa Fort. The up and down the floor action was fast and at times frantic. Shots were missing their marks. Some were interrupted and others were rushed due to defensive pressure.
Rosa Fort, with a record of 12-0 and considered to be a good defensive team, like the Hawks, had not lost a divisional contest. The Hawks were 9-4 and 3-0 in division.
The first period finished with a 9-7 mark.
Scoring picked up in the second with the Hawks coming out on top at 23-20. The Lions found some luck with their three balls and took the lead from Holly High 38-32 at the end of the frame.
Trying to regain the edge in the fourth, the Hawks attempted to isolate the ball handler with a cover all defense, but the Lions were somehow finding outlets. The Hawks backed off a little and became more methodical. It helped. They closed the gap to a single point at 38-37.
The Lions were desperately trying to protect their unbeaten skein and made the fourth the highest scoring quarter of the game. Over midway through the quarter it was obvious the way the lead was changing hands that this was heading for overtime. There were 46 seconds left and Holly High trailed by three points. Kentona Shipp squared up from outside the arc and gave the Hawks a fifth quarter and new life.
Both teams exhausted all of their timeouts and the score flopped back and forth. But the Lions came out one point better as time expired to take the contest 54-53.
Darius Dowdy led the Hawks with 14. Shipp threw in nine and Marcus McKinney and Ryan Wilkins had eight apiece.
Marquez Sanders led the floor with 25, Jarvis Collins and Chris McKay had 11 each.
Holly High teams will be back in action Tuesday, Jan. 6, when they host Senatobia.
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