Thursday, Decemeber 3, 2009
Hawks rout Oktibbeha; Lady Indians beat Jags
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Byhalia Indians staged their first modern day tournament during the holiday break. The Indian Thanksgiving Tournament lasted two days and featured teams from as far away as Sparkman, Ala., (one of two girls-only entries).
The Sparkman ladies and the Horn Lake Lady Eagles opened the play with a first game at 11 a.m. Friday. The Lady Eagles were victorious in that one.
Lady Hawks fall
The first foe which Holly High faced was the undefeated Lady Timberwolves of Oktibbeha County. The 3-0 Lady T’Wolves didn’t allow the Lady Hawks much breathing room in the first quarter. It wasn’t much of a contest with the visitors holding Holly High to two points at 17-2.
The second frame saw the Lady Hawks getting some good looks. Megan Crittle and Shakerra Dawkins began carrying the fight to the basket. They started contesting most of the shots from their opponents and contributed six early points which cut into the 15-point deficit. They trimmed it to 23-16 at intermission.
The Lady Hawks were not creating scoring opportunities in the third. They rarely got a second look and they let the Lady T’Wolves completely stymie them on defense. West Oktibbeha didn’t score a lot of points either, but they held the Lady Hawks to single-digit scoring to make it 29-17 at the end of three.
For whatever the reason, the Lady Hawks became more aggressive in the final frame and the Lady T’Wolves became wary of the Lady Hawks’ new found dedication. West Oktibbeha began to work the clock and nurse an eight-point lead. In what could easily be termed as the best fourth quarter try of the Holly High squad this season, the Lady Hawks pulled to within three points. Dawkins canned back-to-back treys and hit a pair of freebies. There was just a minute left to play and Holly High could not sustain the push. The visitors kept their unbeaten record, now 4-0, going on to the 35-29 win.
Dawkins led Holly High with 19, followed by Crittle with 10.
Hawks coast to win
Although the tip went to Holly High, Oktibbeha County’s Attalah Lampkin accounted for all of his team’s seven points in the first couple of minutes. But the Hawks were just slow starters. They got a pair of long balls from Javian Agnew and the Hawks soon had their first lead.
Each of these teams had only one loss coming into the tournament. Holly High hit two more to get a 16-13 lead after the first quarter.
The Hawks began to pull away early in the second quarter and kept padding the score on play from the bench. Lampkin was still carrying the yoke for the T’Wolves but couldn’t stop the ballooning score of 47-23 at halftime.
Holly High kept walking away from West Oktibbeha in the third and the visitors appeared powerless to slow the soaring Hawks who reached a 70-34 mark at the end of that frame. The Hawks would then hold the T’Wolves to 11 points the rest of the way and coast to a 91-61 win.
Agnew hit 20 for the Hawks, aided by Ryan Wilkins and Jonathan Bownes, who had 11 and 10 respectively.
The Collierville Dragons were turned back by the Middleton Tigers in the game preceding the DeSoto-Byhalia matchups.
Lady Indians win
The Lady Indians entered the tourney with a 2-2 record under new head coach Markeith Washington. The Lady Jaguars were 1-6. Byhalia scored on a set play from the tip-off. The teams spent some minutes feeling each other out. Both teams were employing a 2-3 defense, but offense was mostly run and shoot. This kept first quarter scoring low at 10-2.
The Lady Jaguars stepped up their offense in the second and wiped away a large portion of the Lady Indian lead at the charity stripe. The Lady Jags hit eight of nine attempts. Ashleigh Phillips stuck her second long ball to make it a one-point game at the horn, 21-20.
The lead changed owners a couple of times in the third with Byhalia reclaiming it after very short periods. The Lady Jags had a couple of post players in foul trouble and Byhalia took full advantage. LaTarra Jones and Briana Windham were collaborating on the fast breaks, becoming consistent, which helped the Lady Indians to the 40-32 lead after three.
The Lady Indians really showed cohesion in the fourth quarter. They settled into a productive rhythm and went on to a 16-point margin of victory at 59-43.
Erica Bougard paced the victors with 13. Megan Rayford and Crystal Rayford had 11 each.
The nightcap Friday was a thriller between 6A DeSoto Central and host Byhalia (2-2). If the Indians were intimidated by the 6A school it didn’t show. Indian posts were matching up well with the Jaguars in battling for rebounds. The Indians came out two points better, at 15-13 at the end of one.
The Jaguars took the lead for the first time in the second quarter. It see-sawed a couple of times until Thomas Lesuer put some distance between them with some three balls. He gave Byhalia a 10-point cushion with just under two minutes left. Alfonzo Wilson kept it that way with a one-handed slam and a stickback for a 37-27 halftime mark.
The Jaguars kept cutting into the Byhalia lead in the third. Jeremy Spikner finally tied it at 49 on a trey, but Wilson planted a deuce at the buzzer to swing it back to Byhalia 51-49.
Both teams were playing with outstanding ability in the fourth. Central had a one-point lead until Kenyatta Jones made a spin move to the basket, which he probably could have taken a patent on. But the Indian lead was fleeting. Donny Rutherford stuck a couple back and DeSoto was on top again. The Jags quickly moved out to eight.
The Indians came back and Germany Mays tied it at 68 on a trey. With time running out and Central holding the ball, Byhalia had to resort to fouling, and the Jaguars just weren’t missing any freebies. They took the win 72-71.
Byhalia had three shooters in double figures. Kenyatta Jones with 2, Wilson with 13 and Courtney Warren with 12.
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