Thursday, February 10, 2011
Holly High-Byhalia rivalry
By CLAUDE VINSON
It was a full house 30 minutes before the game started – a long-standing rivalry and Senior Night for the Holly High squads.
The Lady Hawks were not too shabby in the first period, being down by only eight (15-7) to the Byhalia Lady Indians when it ended.
The Lady Hawks have struggled this season but have shown improvement during the latter part. Conversely, the Lady Indians have been performing at an optimum level all season and finished their regular games as top seed in the district. The Lady Indians were still leading in the second quarter Saturday night. Holly High was missing too many close-in attempts and fell behind by 10 (22-12) at intermission.
Early in the third, Byhalia jumped out to a 13-point lead. But Shakerra Dawkins got hot from the corner and popped a pair of treys. Shortly thereafter, Abreana Spight hit another one and the Lady Hawks had closed the gap to six when the third ended (33-27).
The Lady Hawks had another lapse in the final frame, although they did score 12 points over its course. The Lady Indians (19-6 overall) put up twice as many and went to the victor’s column at 57-39.
Dawkins stuck 15 points for Holly High, all from long range. Kayla Burns hit for nine.
The heavy hitters for Byhalia were Crystal Rayford with 15, Erica Bougard with 12 and Shandricka Sessom with 12.
Hawks down Byhalia
The Indians and Hawks squared off in the nightcap before a sellout crowd. Both teams went to the long ball right out of the gate. Marquaveus Walton and Kendrick Pool hit one each and then went cold. Byhalia got one to fall in the last two minutes. And they had a one point lead until Rodney Redmond was fouled at the buzzer on a long attempt. He made two of three and the Hawks were back on top 12-11 at the end of the first.
In the second period, the teams didn’t abandon the long ball but they began pounding the ball inside. Holly High was drawing fouls and getting to the line with some success. The Hawks were staying slightly ahead of Byhalia by a thin margin. The Indians tied it but Pool nailed his second three at the horn and gave the lead to Holly High at 28-25.
In the third the Hawks went up by five and looked as though they were going to deliver the knockout blow to their rival but Courtney Warren turned into a whirling dervish in the paint. His consistent play kept the Indians within striking distance. Then his trey pulled the Indians to within two (46-44) midway through the fourth.
The crowd was into it heavily, supporting both teams. They both made a maximum effort with Holly High making important charity shots when they counted and going on to win by eight at 61-53.
Pool and Johnathan Bownes finished with 14 each and David Bridges had 10. Javian Agnew had nine. Head coach Naylond Hayes gave his seniors maximum playing time.
Warren led Byhalia with 19. Jalen Moffitt added 10. Kenyatta Jones and Jamerson Euell scored nine each.
Both squads will enter district tournaments early in the week. Holly High will be traveling to Charleston and Byhalia will be going to Center Hill.
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