Hyman leads Seahawks past Eagles|Southside advances to tourney title game

Published 12:57 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2009

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE — After a long holiday layoff the Seahawks picked up right where they left off as they rolled past Oakwood 62-55 in the first round of the Thompson Global Girls’ Holiday Tournament held at Oakwood High School in Greenville on Monday.
Southside (7-1, Four Rivers Conference) busted out of the gate with a 23-7 run in the first quarter that was fueled by a dominating press that pestered Oakwood (11-2 Coastal Plains Independent Conference) into several turnovers.
That first-quarter run proved pivotal as the Eagles, the No. 1 ranked 1-A independent team in the state, steadily clawed their way back into the game throughout the middle quarters where they out-scored Southside 31-22.
Down by only four heading into the final stanza, the Seahawks recaptured their first-quarter form on both ends of the ball and used an early 7-0 run to keep Oakwood at bay.
“We got out real quick and got some easy buckets. I think we surprised them with our balance and press, then we just kind of rode it out,” Southside coach Bill Lake said of the team’s first-quarter play. “We were fortunate because they made some good adjustments that made the game pretty even.”
Oakwood, which sports a thin six-person roster had trouble keeping up with the Seahawks’ press. The Southside coach said their was no special gimmick, just good execution.
“We just applied man-to-man straight pressure and let the girls take advantage when somebody made a mistake,” Lake said.
Seahawks’ sophomore guard Katisha Hyman continued her brilliant season as she exploded for a game-high 35 points, 12 of which were scored in the fourth quarter.
Hyman harassed the Eagles guards and created one-person fastbreaks by stripping the ball and pushing it up the court for a layup.
Lake said he has been encouraging his star guard to be more aggressive with her shot selection.
“We have been on her a lot about taking her shot when she gets it instead of passing so much,” Lake said. “She tends to overpass, but tonight she took her shots and did a really nice job.”
Oakwood was led by a pair of former Washington High School standouts in guard Harmony Simpkins and forward Tiamber Burke.
Simpkins had a strong game and led the Eagles with 22 points, while Burke scored 12 of her 17 points in the third quarter.
After banking such large first-quarter lead the Seahawks dropped their guard a bit in the second, allowing Simpkins and Burke to rally their team back into the game.
“Yes (we were a little complacent),” Lake said. “We sat back and worked on things, (Oakwood) got their defense going and it slowed us up and we just got really lethargic.”
It’s a safe be that Southside will not do the same thing tonight when they take on Cape Hatteras the tournament championship at 7:30 p.m.
Cape Hatteras topped Arendell-Parrott 32-29 to advance to the title game.
Southside 23 8 14 17 — 62
Oakwood 7 14 17 14 — 55
Seahawks (62)
Chante Painter 12, Katisha Hyman 35, Cradle 9, Ruffin 4, Bogart 2, Jones 4.
Eagles (55)
Harmony Simpkins 22, Tiamber Burke 17, Collier 5, Moore 4, Mori-Chavex 6.