Thursday, February 3, 2011
Holly High boys fall to Trojans, beat Independence, Ruleville
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Holly Springs Hawks and Lady Hawks had to run the gauntlet last week to play some make-up games in their district schedule.
The Lady Hawks met the East Side Lady Trojans on January 25. The East Side bunch was 16-3 overall and 6-1 in district. Both squads looked pretty good except for ball control. Neither was shooting wildly. The shots were calculated but just weren’t falling. With a little three-ball help from Shakerra Dawkins and Rachel Selman, Holly High managed to lead by one at 10-9. Both had a total of 14 turnovers between them.
The pace had quickened considerably over the first quarter and Holly High was playing excellent defense. And they were brimming with confidence. Even the coach (Xavier Johnson) recognized it and called for a three ball. And Dawkins delivered it from the right corner. Kayla Burns was plying her trade from the left side, going close-in and giving the Lady Hawks the exit with a 22-14 score.
The Lady Trojans came out playing their offense in the third. Behind Joanna Smith and LaShyra Cotton, they overtook the Lady Hawks and led 33-26 at the end of three. For whatever the reason, Holly High had to play “catch up” the rest of the way and fell 50-40.
K. Burns led the hosts with 15, followed by sister Kenyada Burns and Selman with eight each.
The Hawks faced perhaps their toughest rival for the district crown. The Trojans were expected come out burning and they did. Coach Naylond Hayes knew that job one for the Hawks was to try and corral Dandy Dozen player Johnny O’Bryant. And they pretty much did that, holding him to eight points in the first quarter (16-15).
The Hawks kept it close in the second with Jonathan Bownes doing most of the damage. He had 17 points in the first half. Holly High left the floor one point back at 29-30.
The Hawks came out of the locker room and took the lead on a long ball by Bownes. The lead see-sawed a couple of times before the Trojans picked up a one-point lead to end the quarter (38-37). The Hawks once again had a good defensive quarter.
The teams were trading jabs again in the fourth frame. It was tied at 42 when the Hawks went into the “one on one” with a little over four and a half minutes left. It became evident that this one would go down to the wire and probably via the charity stripe. It was a one point game, less than a minute and Holly High had a man on the line. He missed the front end. Jamison Hadley was fouled and went to the line for East Side. He canned both. The Trojans had upped their record to 21-3 and 8-0 with the 48-45 win.
Bownes led the Hawks with 24 big ones, trailed by Kendrick Pool with nine.
Hadley had 18 and O’Bryant 11 for East Side.
Lady Hawks lose
The Holly High teams were back in the thick of things on January 27 with a make-up contest with Independence. The game opened with rebounds, turnovers and free shots. Unfortunately, the Lady Hawks were on the short end of all three. The Lady Wildcats (15-5, 6-0) were con rolling the offensive boards. They were being fouled and making the best of their freebies. They led 15-9 at the end of one.
During the first half they took aim at 16 charity shots and hit 11. The Lady Hawks didn’t get to the line the first two quarters.
The Lady ’Kats lived up to their billing in the third, showing why they were undefeated in district. They soon doubled the Lady Hawks at 30-15. They turned into a non-stoppable juggernaut in the third, going to a 44-18 tally and then finishing it off 47-28 after both coaches had cleared the floor of any starters. The Lady Hawks had faced another tough district foe in a matter of a couple of days.
Shakedra Johnson led Holly High with nine.
Hawks win in OTs
The Independence Wildcats (9-13, 0-4) had everything to prove in this contest with the Hawks. They saw early that it was not going to be easy. Holly High took the early lead on a trio of treys. It held until the two minute mark when the ’Kats went up 10-9.
But the Hawks were just getting warmed up. They overtook the ’Kats again to end the first at 16-10.
Holly High then stepped up its rebounding effort and practically stopped the Wildcats in their tracks and went out to a 36-19 margin at intermission.
The Wildcats went completely cold in the third and the Hawks walked away from them at 53-31.
In the final frame the ‘Kats began feeding the ball inside to Antwan Cathey. Pretty soon he had cut the 22-point deficit to 10. The time went down to about 2:30 and the Holly High lead went down to three after Morris Malone popped a long ball from the corner. Independence had clawed all the way back to 57-55 mark with 2.3 seconds left when the Hawks turned it over on an inbound pass. Jearl Avant stepped to the line and sent it into overtime at 57-all.
The teams exhausted one overtime and then Holly High brought out all the grit to take it 81-79.
The Hawks recorded 14 threes over the course of the game. David Bridges (five threes) and Bownes had 19 each. Javian Agnew (four threes) hit for 15 and Pool (two threes) had 13.
Lady Hawks win
The Lady Hawks and Hawks polished off their last game in the make-up series with a home stand sweep of Ruleville. The Lady Hawks welcomed the Ruleville Lady Tigers in a matinee game in which the Lady Tigers used a shifting 3-2 defense which was collapsing on the ball carrier. Coach Xavier Johnson called for time to counter. They figured out part of it and were to make it a 7-4 first quarter.
The second period was also a slow one, with Holly High staying in front and Ruleville staying close at 14-10.
In the fourth, the Lady Hawks had the lead and the Lady Tigers ( 6-10, 2-5) were trying to catch up and take it. Play got a bit rough in the last minute but Holly High had an eight-point lead and all they had to do was protect the ball. They did that and picked up their second district win at 32-25.
The Lady Hawks didn’t have anyone in double figures (Kayla Burns had six), but got distributed scoring from all of its players.
Hawks down Tigers
This would be the last district game for the Hawks (16-8, 6-4) who could possibly enter the district tournament as a two or three seed. The Tigers (8-9, 3-4) had two more district games left after this one.
The Hawks took the first quarter at 17-12 and the Tigers took the second 30-28.
Early in the second half, Pool gave the home fans what they had been itching for all game – a high-speed, break-a-way dunk. It brought the crowd to its feet and gave the lead to the Hawks. Then Marquaveous Walton, perhaps playing his best game of the season, gave them two more at the line. He was really feeling his Wheaties. He popped a trey and two deuces to make it a 51-46 score at the end of three.
Walton kept the pressure on in the fourth, meanwhile Bownes was using the back door to keep Holly High in a solid lead. They went on to win by nine.
Bownes struck for 24, Pool for 16 and Walton for 14.
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