Photo by Barry Burleson
Battling for possession of the basketball, in the middle, are Holly High’s Cornelious Bridgeforth (23) and Byhalia’s Corey Hardin (20). At left is Daveon Miller (22) and Deandre Martin (3).
Photos by Barry Burleson
Byhalia’s Shaquira Caradine gets sandwiched between a couple of Lady Hawks, Kennedy Faulkner (15) and Jada Dowdy (23). In back is Darianna Wilson (22).
Arkajah Sims (12) of Holly High looks to pass as Byhalia’s Lakiowa Milan (12) and Leekadra Smith play defense.
Holly Springs’ Rahmon Rutherford (24) is guarded by Corvell Todd (4) of Byhalia as he drives. At right is Cornelious Bridgeforth (23).
Byhalia takes two from Holly High
Round two of the Byhalia versus Holly Springs rivalry was just as close as the first.
The Indians, playing on their home court, stretched a one-point lead at the half to 12 in the third quarter and hung on to beat the Hawks 60-57 Tuesday of last week.
Earlier in the season, at Holly Springs, the Hawks won 79-76.
“To come off the holiday break and win a big game against a rival, we will take it,” said James Sales, head coach of the Indians.
Sylvester Kilgore, head coach of the Hawks, said, “We fell short in classic rival battle.”
Byhalia was up 25-24 at the half.
Then Deandre Martin and Corvell Todd provided the third-quarter electricity. Martin drilled a couple of long-range threes and Todd followed that with a dunk on a fast break.
The Indians’ lead increased to 33-26 and when Martin hit another three at the 4:00 mark of the third it was 40-28.
“That was a big quarter for us,” Sales said. “We played much better. We outscored them 19-11.”
Holly High cut the deficit to nine, 44-35, at the end of the third.
Three minutes into the fourth period, DaQuan Smith hit a long-range shot and cashed in a lay-up and the Hawks were within two, 48-46.
With 1:46 remaining, Corey Hardin dunked to put Byhalia up 56-50 and the home team survived to win by three.
“It came down to the little things, as each possession was so valuable,” Kilgore said. “And we made it very difficult on ourselves, with turnovers, plus inconsistent free-throw shooting and rebounding.
“Credit both teams for providing an exciting, entertaining game as we end our yearly series tied at 1-1, both teams winning at home.”
Coach Sales was also disappointed in his teams’ free-throw shooting. The Indians were three of 13 from the line in the first half.
“We could have been up by 11 at halftime,” he said. “That’s a big difference.”
He said his team was strong on the offensive boards but then couldn’t make free throws.
“We have to finish,” he said. “Free throws are a part of finishing.”
But overall, he was very pleased with the victory.
“Holly Springs is a tough team, with big guys in the post and Smith,” Sales said. “Our guys were well-conditioned and it was a good win to start the second half of our season.”
For Byhalia, Martin led the way with 18 points, and Hardin added 15.
Smith was the top gun for the Hawks with 21. Ladarius Stinson added 16 and Anthony Johnson 10. Stinson also had 10 rebounds.
The Byhalia Lady Indians dominated the Holly Springs Lady Hawks in game one of the evening, 63-25.
Byhalia stretched a 28-12 halftime lead to 47-20 after three quarters and went on to win by 38 points.
Scoring in double digits for Sales’ Lady Indians were Tialexus Stevenson with 17, Shay Johnson with 12 and Leekadra Smith with 11.
The top scorer for coach Andre Jones’ Lady Hawks was Jada Dowdy with nine.