HOLLY SPRINGS — Craig McDaniel has a good idea of how to turn things around for the Holly Springs boys’ basketball team, which has had a tough start to the new season, and his thoughts echo his head coach Thurman Jordan.
McDaniel, a senior combo guard, wants the Golden Hawks (0-6) to be more aggressive and attack the basket rather than settling for jumpers.
On Friday, the Golden Hawks fell to visiting undefeated Heritage 73-66. The game was knotted 27-27 at halftime, but a Huskies’ run in the third quarter broke the game open when Holly Springs’ outside shots wouldn’t fall.
“The guys are playing hard, but we just haven’t been able to put a whole game together,” Jordan said.
“Tonight we got too jump shot-oriented and lost our momentum. We weren’t attacking the basket enough and it showed in the free throw disparity, they shot 30 to our 16.”
McDaniel paced the Golden Hawks with 27 points, while Lamar Nobles added 17.
Nobles, a multiple conference champion in track when he was a sophomore at Athens Drive, was at Word of God Christian Academy last year.
“We have to be more aggressive on the defensive end and also finish plays on offense,” McDaniel said. “This is our first year playing together with Lamar, and with time we’re going to learn how to get everyone involved.”
The senior guard duo are joined in the starting lineup by classmates Kelvin Wilson and Jordan Duncan, and junior D.J. Cornish.
Holly Springs led 32-28 early in the third period, but then the Huskies (6-0) went on a 15-4 run to seize control of the game.
The balanced Heritage attack was led by Jared Joyner (16 points), Josh Katowitz (15), Sam McNair (11) and DeSean Mosby (10).
The Golden Hawks did close the gap in the fourth, getting to within four points of the Huskies after a McDaniel three-point play with just under a minute remaining.
However, Mosby sealed the game from the free-throw line.
Holly Springs’ closest losses this year have come to undefeated Heritage.
The Golden Hawks also dropped a Nov. 22 game at Heritage by the 68-63 score.
Nobles is leading the team in points per game with 15.5, followed by McDaniel (14.5), Devon Reese (8.5) and Jonathan Wooten and Duncan (4.5).