Thursday, December 30, 2010
Girls end losing skid
By BARRY BURLESON
The Holly Springs High School Lady Hawks received a nice Christmas gift December 21.
The girls had opened the season with 15 straight losses. But that streak came to a welcome end with the 40-36 win over Ingomar in the Myrtle Christmas Classic.
“That taste of victory means a lot,” said coach Xavier Johnson, in his first season at the helm. “Hopefully, it will up our level of intensity and get the girls believing.”
A sampling of that extra intensity was on display in the fourth quarter. The Lady Hawks trailed 33-28 after three and then outscored the Lady Falcons 12-3 in the final period.
“We made a defensive switch to full-court man-to-man,” Johnson said.
The results of the “in-your-face” pressure were traps, steals and some easy buckets.
“We struggled in our half-court offense,” he said.
“With the pressure, we upped the tempo and we were able to get out in transition.”
Shakerra Dawkins provided the key plays down the stretch – a three-point shot plus a steal and a lay-up. She finished with 19 points.
Dawkins is one of five seniors on the Holly Springs squads who have battled through their share of losing in recent years.
“A new coach came in this year and I’m trying to get them to buy in,” Johnson said. “It has been a long road, but this win is proof we’re not giving up.”
He has emphasized that their basketball experiences are a lot like life.
“There are ups and downs in life, too,” Johnson said. “If you continue to work hard and do the right things, it will pay off.”
He said after the big win last week his Lady Hawks were excited but as calm as they’ve been after the losses.
“They did want to practice at 8 the next morning,” said Johnson, laughing. “I thought to myself - wow!.
“I’m very proud of them.”
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Lady Hawks. They host H.W. Byers Saturday, Jan. 1, and then visit Charleston next Tuesday, Jan. 4.
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