Photo by Barry BurlesonJasmine Malone (1) of Byhalia drives toward the goal, with pressure from Holly High's Dajah Turner (0).
Holly Springs sweeps rival
Wins in the Holly Springs versus Byhalia basketball rivalry never come easy. Such was the case Friday night.
The Hawks and Lady Hawks managed to defend their home court, winning by five and six points, respectively.
The Holly High boys built a double-digit lead in the first half and did what they had to do down the stretch for a 66-61 District 2-3A victory.
It avenged a 71-55 loss to Byhalia on December 18.
“Byhalia is always a challenging match-up,” coach Andre Jones said. “I expected some adversity in the third quarter (when the Indians outscored the Hawks 25-16).
“The important part for me, as a coach, was to inspire my players to respond to the adversity by staying together and regaining control. They handled it well. I am pleased with our performance.”
Four Hawks scored in double figures — Charvez Ambrose with 18, Dylan King with 16, Marquavous Jones with 14 and Ded’drick Faulkner with 10.
“We are sharing the ball pretty good,” Jones said. “We were led by Charvez. He’s growing and becoming an instrumental part of Holly Spring basketball.”
Holly High led 18-9 after one quarter, 33-22 at intermission and 49-47 after three.
It was their fourth straight win.
Jacorian Smith had a gamehigh 20 points for coach Derwin Cooper’s Indians. Scoring nine each were DeQuan Moore and Jamarion Austin.
The first game of the night was also a barnburner with the Lady Hawks pulling out a 48-42 win over the Lady Indians.
Jasmine Malone scored 32 for Byhalia and Dajah Turner 21 for Holly Springs.
“It was an incredible matchup between the two point guards, and both delivered,” said Jason Shivley, head coach of the Lady Hawks.
It was close throughout. Holly Springs led Byhalia, coached by Alainey Hughes, 12-9 after one quarter and 2620 at halftime. Malone had all 20 of her team’s first half points.
The Lady Hawks were up 36-30 entering the fourth and won the game by six.
Also hitting in double figures for the Lady Hawks was Celekiesha Brown with 13.
“I’m proud of our young players who don’t get a lot of game experience but made big plays for us in the clutch,” Shivley said. “It was an exciting night.”
Adding to the excitement, he said, was celebrating Turner’s big accomplishment of scoring the 1,000th point of her career.
The Hawks (6-7 overall and 5-2 in the district) and Lady Hawks (2-5 and 2-2) hosted Independence Tuesday. Then they will host Senatobia Friday.
“Our emphasis is on taking it one game at a time,” Coach Jones said about his Holly High boys. “We know our district is full of tough teams. We have to maintain our focus.”
The Indians (10-5 overall and 5-2 in the district) and the Lady Indians (0-14 and 0-7) visited North Panola Tuesday. They will next go to Water Valley Friday.