Thursday, December 23, 2010
Hawks down rival Ashland
By CLAUDE VINSON
This was the rubber match of the season between the inter-county rivals.
The first was played in Ashland and won by the Lady Devils, a game which new head coach Xavier Johnson said his Holly Springs Lady Hawks should have won. The contest was decided in overtime.
Friday night at home, the Lady Hawks went to the long ball early, with some success. They held the lead practically throughout the first quarter. Khadjah Preston took it away when she planted back-to-back threes to put the Lady Devils up 14-11.
The Lady Hawks again took the lead in the second and this time they held it. They fought off a Lady Devils’ surge in the closing seconds and went to the locker room with a thin two-point lead at 23-21.
The third saw both teams getting some line work with the bulk going to Ashland. And the Lady Devils were using the opportunities. They had missed only four of 16 at that point. Holly High was staying close and not nursing a real unhealthy distance until Ashland hit a three-point buzzer beater to make it 33-28.
The fourth was rough and tumble. Players were putting bodies on the floor, scrambling for loose balls. The Lady Devils had committed a half dozen more turnovers than the Lady Hawks but they were getting to the line more often. Fortunately for Holly High the Lady Devils’ freebie shooting had gone cold. They missed six consecutive charity shots in the fourth. A final deuce by Raquette Allen gave the Lady Devils the 45-37 victory.
Rachel Selman led the Lady Hawks with a pair of treys and a trio of deuces (12), followed by Shakerra Dawkins with two timely treys.
Alontra Tucker paced the visitors with 14, next was Preston wit 11 and Allen with eight.
The Holly High Hawks welcomed their head coach, Naylond Hayes, back to the sidelines on his home court last Friday night, giving him a 14-point victory over the Blue Devils. He had missed several games due to sickness.
The Hawks popped a pair of threes quickly to open the first. Ashland came back with a pair of their own and kept on going to an 18-10 lead at the end of one.
The Hawks had to fight their way back to the top against a stubborn Ashland team. They scrapped to regain the lead 25-21 at the intermission.
The Hawks gave themselves a little breathing room in the third. Johnathan Bownes was biding his time and sticking back important close-ins. But Kendrick Pool gave them a big boost with a trey at the buzzer to make it 40-28, the Hawks’ largest lead of the game.
Holly High increased the lead to 15 in the fourth as Jeremy Williams and Zach Terry tried to rally the Blue Devils. But Gerald Jones made his presence known in a most auspicious way. He hit a trio of twos to move the Hawks back out to 15 again at 49-34 with a little more than four minutes left.
But the Devils weren’t quite ready to hang up the forks. They trimmed the difference to eight before Holly High put on the brakes and went on to win 57-43.
Bownes led Holly High with 15, backed by Pool with 14 (four threes), Javian Agnew with nine.
For the visitors it was Terry with 15, Ted Nunnally with 11 and Williams with nine.
Also last week, the Holly High boys defeated Independence and fell by one at Olive Branch. The Lady Hawks lost both of those contests.
Holly High teams will visit H.W. Byers Saturday, Jan. 1, with the junior varsity boys tipping off action at 5 p.m.
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