FUQUAY-VARINA — Holly Springs senior Lamar Nobles knew exactly when it was time to take over the game against Southwest Wake Athletic Conference rival Fuquay-Varina on Friday night.
The Hawks were nursing a one-point lead entering the final quarter, but Nobles accounted for all of the Holly Springs baskets in the fourth to propel them to a 49-37 victory.
Holly Springs outscored Fuquay-Varina 13-2 in the fourth period, with Nobles scoring nine of his game-high 22 points. Nobles had three alley-oop dunks to quiet the Bengal fans and also assisted teammates Craig McDaniel and Henry Simpson in the decisive quarter. The Hawks defense forced numerous F-V turnovers in the final period.
The win puts the Hawks (7-11 overall, 5-3 SWAC) in third place.
We knew we had to keep our composure and execute, said Nobles, who transferred to Holly Springs from Word of God this season. Every day coach Jordan tells us to work on our defense, thats what we practice. We came out with the win tonight, thats all that matters.
The Hawks jumped out to a 24-13 lead after the first quarter, but Fuquay-Varina battled back in the second to trail by just four, 28-24, at intermission. The Bengals (2-15, 0-8) turned up their defensive intensity, got the ball inside for easier shots, and didnt turn the ball over in the second period.
We like to fight and crawl our way back into the game, but we need to be ready to fight right from the beginning to take that momentum, said Fuquay head coach Daniel Strong. We just have to develop that winning mentality and the belief that we can win every time we step onto the court.
Although the Bengals never took the lead in the third period, they tied the score 35-35 with 35 seconds left on a soft runner by leading scorer Dez Byrd, who finished with 10 points. Taqqee Richardson also nailed a clutch trey for F-V in the third.
The Hawks scored just eight points in the period, but a Stevie Harris free throw with 12 seconds remaining gave Holly Springs a 36-35 lead which it would not relinquish.
Tonight I think we got some stops, caused some turnovers, said Holly Springs head coach Thurman Jordan. Were not the biggest team, so we really rely on our speed and our guards to make good decisions in transition.
Jordan also praised McDaniel, a senior guard who he said got the Hawks going early and set the tone. McDaniel opened the scoring five seconds into the contest with a thunderous dunk.
Holly Springs swept the season series from the Bengals.