Photos by Ronnie Day
Lady Hawks Kayla Criss (31) and Jayla Stevenson (14) try to halt a drive to the basket by Lady Indian Xzadria Holpe (31).
Byhalia’s Keshun Falkner (21) provides some opposition as DaQuan Smith of Holly High looks to score.
Avion Graham (5) of Byhalia is defended by Holly High’s Ladarius Stinson (33). Also pictured in the background are Indian Jerrell Brounson (1) and Hawk Kendrick Fountain. The Indians and the Hawks will meet again January 3 in Holly Springs.
Photos by Ronnie Day
Kavacia Johnson (21) of Byhalia gets a shot up toward the hoop. At right is Holly High’s Prishonna Burgess (22). Looking for a possible rebound are Brianna Beard (20) and Kayla Criss (31).
Byhalia sweeps Holly High
Long-time rivals Holly Springs and Byhalia battled in heated contests on the Indians’ home court Friday night, Nov. 18.
A sellout crowd was on hand as these two schools, both in the same county, collided on the hardwood.
Kavacia Johnson scored 33 points, Ariel Tunstall 23, and Leekadra Smith 17 as Byhalia routed Holly High’s girls 92-49.
The first quarter began slowly as both teams were playing a little erratically at times. By midway, the Lady Indians began to click the scoreboard. Johnson and Smith each hit a three. The Lady Hawks answered with a trey from Shretta Jeffries and a two from Camee Faulkner. The Lady Indians kept pounding away and were up 20-12 as the first expired.
The Lady Indians began to toss in more shots in the second period. Again, Johnson and Smith each hit a three-pointer as did Tunstall. The Lady Hawks kept visiting the free-throw line, where 10 attempts were made in this period. The Lady Indians outscored the Lady Hawks 29-18 to widen the lead further, 49-30 at the half.
After the intermission, the Lady Indians kept the momentum going as Smith and Shaquira Caradine each hit a long-range shot in the third. Faulkner and Jeffries rattled off some points for the Lady Hawks but not enough to narrow the gap. Byhalia’s girls had added 23 more points versus Holly High’s eight.
In the fourth, Tunstall netted 10 points (all deuces), and Johnson popped in three deuces down the stretch for the Lady Indians’ victory in this intracounty rivalry.
Top scorers for Holly High were Faulkner with 19 points and Jeffries had 16.
Indians down Hawks
The Indians trailed the Hawks by five, 18-13, at the end of the first, but rallied to take a big 72-47 win.
DeQuan Smith fired in eight points (two treys and a deuce) and Kendrick Fountain made a freebie to put the Hawks up 9-0 at the 5:25 mark. Byhalia made a move with 4:14 left, putting the Indians on board with a three. Smith reeled in his third trey to further extend the gap 12-5. The Hawks’ defense was on target in this frame. They made it difficult for the Indians to get the ball into the nylon. Avion Graham managed to sneak in a three to trim the deficit.
Then, Jamaris Briggs’ back-to-back twos had the Indians trailing by one, 18-17, at the top of the second quarter. Keshun Falkner’s charity point knotted the game at 18 at the 5:43 mark. Antwon Porter cut the tie with a freebie and the Indians took the lead, 19-18. The Hawks grabbed the lead back with a deuce, but the Indians came back to deadlock the game at 20. Falkner’s freebie broke the tie, 21-20. The Indians sank a few more points in this frame before taking the double-digit lead, 34-24.
Going into the third, the Hawks tried to close the gap. Buckets by Smith and Juwoyn Lyles had the Hawks trailing by four, 36-32. But Holly Springs soon hit a snag (scoringwise) and was in jeopardy. With a minute left ticking, the Hawks were down by 10 (45-35). Briggs’ and Graham’s buckets helped the Indians quickly grab a 51-37 lead.
In the fourth, the Indians added 21 more points compared to the Hawks’ 10. Byhalia boys closed the nightcap with the 25-point victory.
Graham led the way for Byhalia with 22 points. Briggs and Falkner each had nine points.
For Holly High, Smith scored 25 and Lyles had six.