Holly High teams down district opponents
It was a dominant night for Holly Springs basketball teams January 15 when they hosted District 2-3A foe Water Valley.
The Lady Hawks got a career-high 40 points from Arriyunna Washington in a 62-25 win over the Lady Blue Devils.
“She has such a great work ethic, and she prepared herself well,” coach Andre Jones said about his leading scorer. “That’s what great players do. It was an exciting performance, and her teammates kept her motivated, encouraging her to shoot the ball since she had the hot hand.”
Washington was eight of 14 from three-point range and four of four from the free-throw stripe. She also had 10 steals.
Celekeisha Brown added nine points for Holly High.
“It was a much-needed district win for us (improving to 3-2) with North Panola up next,” Jones said. “Our momentum as a team is shifting to work in our favor.”
The Lady Hawks were seven of nine from the charity stripe (77.8 percent).
The Holly Springs boys, coached by Sylvester Kilgore, followed that up with a 63-42 win over Water Valley.
“We got off to slow, sluggish start,” he said. “The second team came in and got us back on track, as they matched and bested the all-out effort and hustle displayed by district opponent Water Valley.”
The Hawks were just one of 11 from beyond the three-point line in the game. They were 26 of 41 (63.4 percent) from the free-throw line. Hitting in double digits were Cori Bell with 16 points, Derek Fountain with 12 and Dylan King with 10. King had seven rebounds and Deveon Miller and Fountain six each. “We were able to play to our strengths, executing on both ends to have big scoring quarters to close out the game and claim the all-important district win,” Kilgore said. Holly High improved to 6-0 in the district.
Holly High-North Panola
The Hawks kept the unbeaten district mark intact Friday night at North Panola, winning 60-54. Coach Kilgore said Derek Fountain had “an impressive performance with his allaround play.” He scored 26 points, going 11 of 13 from the field and two of three from the freethrow stripe. He had four rebounds and two assists. Miller was also a major contributor. He scored 13 points and added four rebounds and three steals. “Also our floor general, Cori Bell, showed great poise and leadership versus our arch nemesis, North Panola,” Kilgore said. The coach also said he got big contributions from King and a stellar defensive effort from Ded’drick Faulkner. “It was a solid team effort to say the least,” he said. The Hawks led 30-20 at the half. The Holly High girls also picked up a big road win Friday at North Panola. They defeated the Lady Cougars 53-50 to put them at second place in the district with a 4-2 mark. “The only way I can describe the nailbiting win is ‘earned not given,’ and that’s the exact phrase I put emphasis on during my halftime speech,” Coach Jones said. “We had some weak spots throughout the game that we could not overcome but the last 10 seconds of the game worked in our favor,” he said. Washington, not having her best shooting night of the season, hit a three to tie the game and a buzzer-beater three to win it. “She led us to victory, and that’s exactly what leaders do,” he said. Brown was the top scorer in the win with 18 points. She also had six rebounds. Washington scored 13. Destiny Hampton was the leading rebounder with seven. “I am so proud of my team,” Jones said. “We have worked hard for these types of outcomes. We work on them in practice. Every player who wore a Lady Hawks’ jersey was a key factor in winning this game. “Hats off to a well-coached North Panola team that fought hard all 32 minutes. “For us, this win was well deserved and definitely earned.” The Lady Hawks (8-11 overall)and Hawks (13-7) hosted Ashland Tuesday. They visit Coahoma AHS Friday. The boys will play Saturday, at 12:15 p.m., in the Hotbed Classic at New Albany versus the host school. Next Tuesday, Jan. 29, both teams host Independence.