Thursday, January 26, 2012
Holly Springs teams fall in district games at Ripley
By CLAUDE VINSON
The opening quarter Friday night in Ripley belonged solely to the defending Class 3A champion Lady Tigers.
They established a rhythm of sorts early and found easy pickings at the basket and on defense. They were stripping the ball from the Holly Springs Lady Hawks and Becca Ruckes was turning them into points in the paint. Ripley led by 20 after one period (25-5).
The Lady Hawks were having no luck at the nylon. They did get some decent looks from long range but the shots rimmed out. Holly High managed only two points during the second frame but held the Lady Tigers to 11 (36-7).
The third frame was proving productive for Holly High. KeShauna Payton took aim and filled the cup with a pair from long range and they were getting a lot of help from Carrie Graham on both ends of the floor. But the efforts did little to slow down the scoring machine of Ripley. The Lady Tigers upped their lead to 30 at the end of the third (50-20).
The Lady Hawks were still showing their aggressive side in the fourth but they were playing against mostly reserves. The Lady Tigers pushed their district record to 3-0 and their season mark to 20-2 with a 62-32 victory.
Graham and Payton led the Lady Hawks (2-20, 0-3 in the district) with 12 and 11, respectively.
Ruckes and Jayla Chills led the parade for Ripley. The former had 20 and the latter had 13.
This was the third district game for both of these teams. Holly High had the one game edge. They had met Alcorn Central early in the season and defeated Belmont January 13.
They jumped out to an early lead on the Ripley Tigers and were ahead by six in the first (19-13).
The Hawks were playing good defense in the second and were maintaining a respectable difference between themselves and Ripley. They led Ripley at intermission 35-27.
The Tigers began slowing down the Hawks’ defense in the third period and took their first lead in the game. It was tied twice after that and then Ripley got some three-ball help from Canaan Ratliff. He put the hosts up by one with seconds left. Holly High couldn’t get the lead back from the free-throw line. It was 50-49 at the end of three.
In the fourth it appeared that it was Ripley’s turn to keep the slim lead margin. Holly High was being tagged 2-1 with infractions and at one point the Ripley coach yelled at the official and kicked the ball across the court without being “teched” (Holly High was hit with 18 calls in the second half as opposed to just six for the Tigers). Fortunately, the Tigers were not very accurate at the line at this point. The Hawks had to play “catch-up” the entire quarter.
The Hawks were still giving it all they had but the Tigers’ eye got better at the stripe. Time ran out before Holly High could erase the three-point lead. Ripley moved its overall record to 18-5 and tied with Holly High in district at 2-1 with the 72-69 final score. The Hawks are 14-8 overall.
DeAndre Griffin led the Hawks’ sharpshooters with 16. Next was Rodney Redmond with 15, Paris Scruggs with 11 and Dewayne McKinney with 10.
Ratliff had the keen eye for Ripley, sticking 23. He was aided by Anfernee Rutherford with 16, Deion Palmer with 12 and Isaac Bails with 10.
The Hawks and Lady Hawks had another district foe (Booneville) on Tuesday of this week. They stay in district play Friday, going to Kossuth.
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