Both the Hazlehurst Indians and Lady Indians gained revenge on their home court last Friday night for early season loses to arch-rival Crystal Springs. The Lady Indians posted a 34 – 28 win, and the HHS boys followed with a 69 – 62 victory.
Played in front of a packed house, both games featured “in your face” defense where nearly every shot around the basket drew physical contact, especially in the boys’ game. The Indians were 23 of 34 from the charity stripe, and the Lady Indians were 8 for 19.
Lady Indians 34 – CSHS 28
The girls’ game featured four ties and five lead changes in the first half alone. Hazlehurst led 15 – 13 at the half and 21 – 20 after three quarters. An eight-point run through the middle of the fourth quarter and four steals by the pressing HHS defense put the game out of reach.
To say the Lady Indians learned from their early season loss to Crystal Springs would be an understatement.
““We found out who their key player was,”” said Head Coach Chasity Sandifer, ““and we put more pressure on her. We went to a 1 –- 3 -– 1 to keep the outside shooters from shooting and made them go inside where we knew we were stronger.””
Kia Funchess led the Lady Indians offensively with 13 points followed by Kiara Shannon with 10. Jasmine James, Jenifrique Levi, and Octavia Anderson, added 6, 3, and 2 points respectively.
Indians 69 – CSHS 62
This one was a war – exactly what you’d expect when these two teams meet. Bodies flew, and every layup was contested.
The game was played dead even until two minutes into the
third quarter. With the score tied at 33, Crystal Springs scored only two points in the next three minutes while Hazlehurst rang up eight to push out to a six-point lead.
The Tigers made a final run midway in the fourth quarter when Christopher “Bubba” Lawrence’s 3-point play drew CSHS to within two at 58 – 56. Eric Walker, Hazlehurst’s cat-quick shooting guard, immediately answered with a 3-point shot to bring the home crowd to its feet. A steal and a layup later and the HHS lead stretched back out to seven.
Walker led the Indians with 25 points. Justin Durr and Fred Fuller also hit for double figures with 16 and 14 respectively. Gabriel Gray added 8, Deonterio Goodwin had 4, and Terry quin chipped in 2 in the winning effort.