Photos by DeMill Dixon
(Photo at left) Darianna Wilson (22) goes between Destiny Hampton (22) and Arkajah Sims (right).
(Photo at right) Jerrell Bronson (1) shoots versus Ded’drick Faulkner (14) and Derek Fountain.
Byhalia takes two from Holly Springs
The first version of the Byhalia versus Holly Springs basketball rivalry in a new season didn’t disappoint. The host Indians, who led by as many as 13 in the first half, trailed briefly in the fourth quarter but snatched the momentum back on their way to a 78-71 win November 16. Raymond Tuggles hit seven threepoint shots for Byhalia and finished with 25 points. Tyhem Reaves had a game-high and career-high 27 for the Hawks, including four threes. Tuggles hit three straight threes in a minute stretch to put the Indians up 20-8 with 58 seconds to go in the opening quarter. “He was on fire,” said Derwin Cooper, head coach of the Indians. “I told my guys – ‘feed him the ball.’ ” Ded’drick Faulkner hit a three and a two for Holly High to cut the deficit to 20-13 at the end of the first. The Indians’ press created a turnover and Byhalia’s Jerrell Bronson cashed in a bucket to make it 28-15 two minutes into the second. Holly Springs got back to within five but trailed 40-32 at halftime. At the 4:35 mark of the third, Cori Bell dunked, and the Hawks were within three, 44-41. Derek Fountain’s jump shot cut it to 44-43. Byhalia was up 52-50 at the end of the third. Daveon Miller gave the Hawks the lead, 54-52, with 6:36 left. Bronson answered with a three for the Indians. The lead swapped hands a couple more times with Holly High’s last lead, 62-61, coming on Bell’s three with 4:24 left. “We overcame adversity there after we got down,” Cooper said. Down the stretch, Tuggles hit a pair of long-range bombs for the Indians, and Kavontae Tunstall slammed as the home squad secured the victory.
“My boys played great from beginning to end,” Cooper said. “We played collectively as a unit.
“We have to develop a better IQ for the game, learn how not to foul.”
Bronson added 22 points for Byhalia and Antwon Porter 13.
Also in double-digit scoring for Holly High were Bell with 14 and Miller with 12. Derek Fountain led in rebounding with eight, and he also scored nine points. Miller had seven rebounds.
The Hawks were 14 of 18 from the free-throw line. They had 21 turnovers.
“We got off to a slow start, and some early miscues had us battling from behind all night,” said Sylvester Kilgore, head coach the Hawks.
“It was a classic, competitive rival game with Byhalia beating us to the finish line at the end.”
It was Coach Cooper’s first experience with the intracounty rivalry – Byhalia versus Holly Springs.
“I appreciate the fan support for both schools,” he said. “It was a great environment for basketball.”
The Byhalia Lady Indians led by only one, 8-7, after one quarter but started to dominate in the second. They went on to crush the Lady Hawks 58-19.
Aryian Hodges drilled a pair of three-point shots early in the second, and at the 2:30 mark when Brianna Beard made a steal and passed to Jasmine Malone for a bucket, the Lady Indians were up 23-10. Lakiowa Milan closed the first half with a bucket and the home team was in full control at 31-12.
The Lady Indians outscored Holly High 21-5 in the third and went on to win by 39 points.
“We started fast and were well-disciplined on defense,” Cooper said. “I thought we played our ‘A game’ overall.”
Darianna Wilson and Malone were the top scorers for Byhalia with 16 and 14, respectively. Hodges had 13 and Milan 10.
Arkajah Sims scored eight for Holly High.