Thursday, March 26, 2009
Holly Springs trio helps lead team to Tennessee title
By BARRY BURLESON
Three Holly Springs girls are members of a state champion basketball team in Tennessee.
Seniors for Bishop Byrne High School include Brittany Balfour Walls, Brandy Balfour Walls and Hendia Thigpen.
The Lady Red Knights celebrated the school’s first basketball state title on February 27. They beat Lausanne 42-39 for the Division 2-A crown. The tournament was played at Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville.
The twins are the daughters of Helen Balfour Walls and Willie L. Walls of Holly Springs. Thigpen is the daughter of Evelyn Thigpen and Henderson Thigpen.
The Lady Red Knights finished the season with a 28-3 record. All three of their regular season losses were to Lausanne (30-4) by an average margin of 20.6 points.
In the state championship game, Bishop Byrne limited the Lady Lynx to just 32.6 percent shooting. Lousanne junior guard Lauren Avant, a Tennesee commitment and two time 2-A Miss Basketball winner, was held to just six points by a Bishop Byrne squad that finished 13-of-23 (56.5 percent) from the field.
Brittany Balfour Walls was named the state tournament most valuable player. She scored 10 points in the title contest, including two clutch free throws with 2:22 remaining that gave Bishop Byrne a 39-36 lead. Brandy Balfour Walls added a free throw with 4.6 seconds left to make it 42-39 before Avant missed the rim with a desperation three-point attempt as time expired.
Bishop Byrne advanced to the state championship game with a 40-38 win over Davidson Academy in the semi-finals.
Brittany Balfour Walls led the Lady Red Knights with 18 points.
Head coach at Bishop Byrne is Jack Grannan.
All three Holly Springs girls – the Walls twins and Thigpen – graduated from Holy Family School in 2005 where they played for coach Henry Hood.
Editor’s Note - Some information for this story was taken from recent issues of The Commercial Appeal.
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