Thursday, December 9, 2010
Holly Springs splits with Ashland
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Lady Hawks and Hawks went eastward last Friday night to face an old foe in Benton County. The intensity with which these teams have played each other in years past could very well have been sent back to that level on December 3.
The Lady Blue Devils are under first year head coach Ayesha Brooks and had a record of 2-7 coming into the game with Holly High. The Lady Hawks were still without a win in their season.
The first period was one of speed. The teams could have been in a foot race judged by the manner in which they chased each other from one end of the court to the other. They were not turning many baskets, however, the Lady Devils did manage to eke out a slim lead of 6-2 at the end of the frame.
Early in the second period, the Lady Devils went into the bonus. They started off hitting 66 percent of their freebies. Neither team was lighting up the board on regular shots. Both were being plagued by turnovers. Ashland came out a little better in all departments, increasing its margin to 13-6 at intermission.
Holly High still was not jelling as a unit. The Lady Hawks were giving too many fouls and missing too many shots. They hit some but it was not enough and they were down 27-15 after three complete periods.
The fourth quarter saw Ashland stuck on 27. Holly High had pulled to within eight at 27-19, then Kayla Burns went to the line and canned a pair, pushing the Lady Hawks to within six with less than two minutes left. Abreanna Spight followed her and suddenly the Lady Hawks were getting it done at the line. They were four points down with 49 seconds on the clock when K. Burns jumped up and put one back cleanly from the top of the key. The over-packed gym went wild. She had cut the deficit to two.
She made the same shot again after the Lady Devils had blown the inbound pass. The buzzer sounded almost immediately on the 27-27 tie, sending the game to overtime.
In the fifth period, Desaray Anderson came off of the bench and stuck one back to swing the lead to Ashland. Shakerra Dawkins raced ahead and tied it again. Both teams were exerting heavy pressure. Ashland’s Trenise Hampton was fouled and hit two from the line and the Lady Devils were in front again at 31. But Lady Hawk Kenyada Burns tied it again with a deuce. Time was about to expire again when Anderson planted another to beat the horn, giving the Lady Devils their third win at 33-31.
Xavier Johnson, head coach of the Lady Hawks, said, “We had it – too many turnovers and too many missed free throws.”
No players were in double figures, however, the scoring was distributive among all members of both teams.
Hawks upset Devils
The Blue Devils of Ashland had only lost one game during their current campaign. According to their second year head coach, Kenzi Wells, they had dropped that game to Okolona and stood 8-1.
It was clear from the tip that this was not going to be a slow contest. Man for man, the Hawks (who entered with a 5-4 mark) were giving up a slight height advantage to the Devils, but they were not giving up any speed. It was close at the end of one, 10-9 in favor of the Hawks.
The Hawks put a little concrete in their game in the second frame. They cooled it a little and began feeding the ball onto the posts. With a little long ball help from Justin Jeffries and Kendrick Pool, they left the floor with a 24-17 lead at halftime.
The Hawks kept the lead throughout the third period. On two occasions, the Devils had cut the difference to two points but Holly High was back up by four (37-33) when the horn sounded.
It was a tough Hawks defense which kept the Devils’ forks dull in the final frame. Holly High forced Ashland into multiple turnovers and Jonathan Bownes was capitalizing. He was using power drives and a swift left-handed lay-up to keep Holly High out front. Ashland, trailing by five with about a minute and a half left, was laying on heavy pressure the length of the court. But the Hawks kept attacking and won 53-43.
Bownes led the Hawks with 20. Javian Agnew threw in 11. Jeremy Williams paced Ashland with 12, backed by Ted Parker with 11.
Holly High teams go to Ruleville Friday and visit Independence next Tuesday.
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