Boys basketball: Holly Springs 53, Green Hope 36

Golden Hawks’ balanced scoring lifts them to victory

CorrespondentFebruary 10, 2014 

— Holly Springs’ boys basketball team runs a motion offense with a roster of guys who are all about the same size.

Ideally, they’ll get equal touches at the ball; the scheme is combined with a lineup that lacks a body that is an overpowering physical presence.

And that’s about what happened when the Golden Hawks defeated Green Hope 53-36 Friday night in a Southwest Wake Athletic Conference game at the Falcons’ gym.

Five Holly Springs players finished scoring between seven and nine points, although coach Thurman Jordan and his players admitted the box score would have been more aesthetically pleasing if someone had finished in double figures.

Craig McDaniel and Henry Simpson scored nine each, Devin Reese added eight and Lamar Nobles seven.

“That’s part of our offense,” said Holly Springs coach Thurman Jordan of the balanced scoring. “We run a motion offense; you’ve got to be able to move, you’ve got to be able to make layups, you’ve got to be able to pass the ball accurately.”

With the win, Holly Springs improved to 7-4 in the SWAC and 9-12 overall. Green Hope dropped to 5-6 and 8-13. The win was crucial for the Hawks to pull two games ahead of Green Hope in a four-way battle for third place that includes Middle Creek and Cary.

“But we’re on the outside looking in with our overall record,” Jordan said of the post-season. “We’ve got to keep fighting for that third spot. We have to finish strong. That’s our goal.”

Third place is worth an automatic playoff berth, but Holly Springs can’t count on an at-large bid with its losing overall record.

“We feel good about our chances,” said McDaniel, a senior point guard. “We have to keep playing hard and play defense. If we do that, we’ll be good.”

A slow start contributed to Holly Springs failing to produce a player in double figures. In the first quarter, the Hawks turned the ball over and put up shots ranging from bricks to air balls.

Holly Springs didn’t score its first points until McDaniel converted a 3-point play for a 3-2 lead with 3:25 left in the opening period. But in the final minute and a half of the opening period, Steve Harris and Reese hit 3-point field goals and McDaniel converted a fastbreak layup for a 12-6 lead.

But the offense woke up in the second quarter when Holly Springs outscored Green Hope 16-7 for a 28-13 halftime advantage.

“We started moving the ball around and started playing some defense,” McDaniel said. “The defense helped us create some offense.”

Green Hope’s only strong quarter offensively was the third when the Falcons scored 16 points, but they remained 13 points behind at 42-29 by the end of the period. Green Hope’s Ridge Ford finished as the game’s only player in double figures with 11 points.

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