BHHS girls fall short in 5A region showdown

In a showdown between region 5A powers in girls varsity basketball, Hunter-Kinard-Tyler High got the best of Blackville-Hilda High by a score of 63-55 Jan. 9 in Norway.

The contest looked more like football than basketball with players hitting the deck in the paint and getting tangled up fighting for loose balls.

The game was very competitive for the first three quarters as the teams traded baskets for a 44-44 tied.

The fourth quarter, however, wasn't friendly to Blackville-Hilda High, especially during the first three minutes of play when they missed eight straight shots.

Hunter-Kinard-Tyler High, which trailed 44-40 with 35 seconds left in the third quarter, rattled off 12 straight points, including eight at the start of the fourth quarter to take a 52-44 lead.

The Lady Trojans offensive surge was led by Shakara Smalls with 29 points, including 19 in the second half. Smalls was at her best in the fourth quarter with the Lady Hawks over the limit in fouls. Smalls took advantage of the situation, connecting on six-of-seven free throws.

The loss drops Blackville-Hilda High to 6-2 in the season.

Blackville-Hilda High coach William Hammonds said turnovers down the stretch was the difference in the game.

"We played well, but we kind of fell apart in the fourth quarter," Hammonds said. "We had trouble bringing the ball up against their press. We play them again, so it's a phase of our game that we will have to work on."

At the start of the game it was all the Lady Hawks as Candace Jones led with seven first-quarter points for a 19-10 lead. Shidaa Mincy also played well in the opening quarter with six points and four rebounds.

In the second stanza, the tide change in favor of the Lady Trojans. Melinda Brimfield and Smalls sparked the team with seven points apiece in a 21-10 scoring run to tie the game at 29-29 at halftime.

However, in the third quarter, the Lady Hawks surged ahead.

Leading 33-31, the Lady Hawks went on a 9-3 run on baskets by Jones, Grace Harrison, Danielle Brown and Kiki Nickens for a 42-34 lead with 3:18 left in the third quarter.

Trailing 44-38 with 1;18 left in the third quarter, the Lady Trojans rallied with baskets by Smalls, Telana Milhouse and Brimfield to tie the game at 44-44 to end the quarter.

In the final quarter, the Lady Trojans grounded the Lady Hawks, outscoring them 19-10 to finish the game.

For the game, Jones led the Lady Hawks with 26 points, including two three-pointers, eight steals and seven assists. Mincy had a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Brown tallied seven points, six rebounds and four steals. Harrison added four points.

For Hunter-Kinard-Tyler, Brimfield finished with 20 points while Milhouse had six points.