Thursday, January 7, 2010
Intra-county rivals collide
By CLAUDE VINSON
It doesn’t matter when or where the teams in Marshall County meet, there is going to be maximum interest and intrigue. And it almost always begs for a larger facility.
For the game between H.W. Byers and Holly High Saturday, not only did they need a larger gym they could have used a super parking lot. The crowd at Byers was standing-room-only before the first ball was jumped.
And to add to the intrigue, just one official showed up. You better believe that he had a yeoman’s task because the game between the Lady Hawks and Lady Lions was fast paced from the beginning. The Lady Lions were coming off a far away road trip (Columbus, Ohio), over the holiday break in which they had dropped two games. They wasted little time in cracking the whip. They had a 29-0 lead with two minutes left in the first quarter. That one ended at 33-4.
The Lady Hawks were being out-rebounded at both ends of the court. The Lady Lions were also blocking shots and cutting off the Lady Hawks’ attempts at fast breaks. They did not decrease the pressure. The gap between the scoring kept widening. Shakerra Dawkins stuck a pair of threes to give the Lady Hawks 10 points. Byers was out front 53-10 at intermission.
The score at the end of the third quarter was 78-24.
Coach Jason Thompson of Byers had begun subbing freely in the third and had left only his point guard, Teresha Woods, on the floor. But the reserves kept scoring and the final was 92-32.
Byers (14-5) had five shooters in double figures. Leading the pack was Alexis Hardaway with 21. She was followed by Kourtney Coleman with 19, Precious Rodgers with 14, and Kyra Gulledge and Brionne Gulledge with 12 each.
The Lady Hawks had one shooter in double figures. Dawkins scored 14, including four threes.
The Hawks earned the split with county rival Byers on Saturday night in a contest which was not that easy.
The Hawks brought a 13-1 record to the Lions Den. Holly High is ranked high in both the district and 3A class. But when it comes to the bragging rights’ games, everyone expects both squads to be ready. And the Lions were holding their own in the first quarter against this very tough opponent. The Hawks’ aggressive play put them eight points ahead at the first break at 14-6.
The Hawks did not pull away by a wide margin in the second. At one point they were ahead by 10. The Hawks were apparently opting for the long ball. Darius Dowdy connected on three of them and then went cold. Byers cut the difference to five before Jonathan Bownes started to hit from close in. He ran up an 11-point gap. Jeremy Williams of Byers hit a bomb at the buzzer to take it back down to single digits, 25-17, at intermission.
The Lions showed a tough exterior in the third.When it appeared as though the Hawks were going to take over the game, Williams went on the attack. He rattled off a quick pair of threes and a deuce. Unfortunately, the Hawks struck back. Bownes and Ryan Wilkins began a cooperative effort that ended in a 17-point margin at the end of the third frame. The score was 46-29.
The Lions could muster only seven points in the final quarter and went down 58-36.
Williams led the Lions with 14.
Wilkins led Holly High shooters with 20. Bownes threw in 14 and Dowdy shot for 10.
The Hawks improved to 14-1.
Both teams will host home games Friday – Byers versus Potts Camp and Holl High versus Charleston.
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