Jones leads BHHS to victory over WEHS in title game

When it comes to playing Williston-Elko High, Blackville-Hilda High senior point guard Candace Jones rises to the occasion. Jones has averaged 17.3 points in the last four meetings against Williston-Elko High.

Unfortunately for Williston-Elko High, that trend continued Dec. 27 in the Hawks Invitational championship game.

Jones stole the Blue Devils thunder once again, erupting for 35 points, 11 assists and six steals in a 65-49 win.

Jones was at her best in the first half when she connected on nine-of-12 shots for 19 points. After a quiet third quarter with six points, Jones erupted for 10 points in the final eight minutes on four-for-five shooting the field and two-for-two at the free throw line.

"I felt I played pretty good," Jones said. "This was our home tournament and our goal as a team was to go out and win. I thought we played very well as a team."

With the win, Blackville-Hilda High improves to 6-2 in the season.

The Lady Hawks came out on fire and never let up as they shot 52 percent from the floor in the first half to build a 35-25 advantage.

The Lady Hawks led by as much as 22 points in the second half before the Lady Blue Devils narrowed the margin to 16 points to close out the game.

Blackville-Hilda High coach William Hammonds said the team fed off its early energy.

"When got off to a fast start and our momentum built from there," Hammonds said. Candace Jones is an exceptional player. Tonight she had another great game. I thought we also had good balance offensively as several other players stepped up and played well."

The Williston-Elko High Lady Blue Devils advancef to the finals by beating Bamberg-Ehrhardt 45-38 in the semi-finals.

Williston-Elko played close to Blackville-Hilda in the first half. However, in the second half, turnovers and mistakes hurt their chances for a comeback.

"We fought hard as a team, but our team defense and turnovers hurt us tonight," Williston-Elko High coach Eva Strong said. "We got out-rebounded and we gave up too many easy baskets on the other end."

For Blackville-Hilda, several other players shouldered the scoring load.

Grace Harrison and Danielle Brown both recorded double-doubles. Harrison, who has asserted herself as a offensive threat in the interior through the first six games, racked up 12 points and 13 rebounds. Brown found her strength from the perimeter, hitting on six-of-eight jumpers to finish with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Shidaa Mincy added four points and seven boards.

For the Lady Blue Devils, Courtney Corley led the offense with 14 points on seven-of-11 shooting. Charnica Williams had a superb outing with 12 points, 10 rebounds and eight steals. Tierra Richberg had a solid game in the paint with eight points and 12 rebounds while Lakendra James added eight points and six steals.