After falling behind by 12 almost halfway through the second quarter, the Helena-West Helena Central Cougars (4-2, 1-0) came roaring back for a 56-42 win over the Dollarway Cardinals (2-6, 0-2) on Friday by a score of 56-42.
Dollarway got a quick basket with 7:41 and would lead the entire first half. Through the first five and half minutes, the Cougars could manage only one basket and trailed 11-2. At the end of the first period, the Cougars trailed 19-9.
Dollarway extended the lead to 12 with 5:55 remaining in the first half when they scored to make it 23-11.
After Thomas Seals made a three-pointer for the Cougars to cut the deficit back to single digits, the Cardinals went right down the court and scored to make it 25-14 with 4:11 to go.
Then, the Cougars woke up. Demond Franklin got a steal and went the length of the court to spark a 13-4 Helena-West Helena run to end the half. By the time Franklin hit a three at the buzzer, the Cougars had cut Dollarway’s lead to just two at 29-27.
Helena-West Helena got the ball first coming out of the locker room. Franklin took the inbounds pass and hit a three from the left side to give the Cougars their first lead at 30-29 with 7:47 remaining in the third.
CHS would never look back. The Cougars went on an 11-0 run to start the third quarter and held the Cardinals to just five points the entire period. A slam dunk from Eddie Evans with 2:37 to go in the third brought the CHS Gymnasium crowd to its feet and Helena-West Helena led 42-34 at the end of the third period.
Helena-West Helena opened the final stanza with an 11-1 run to open the lead to 18 points. Eight of those 11 came from Thomas Seals in a period of just 2:14. When Brian Miller got a put back with 3:44 to go in the game, the Cougars led 53-35.
Franklin led CHS with 25 points. Seals added 13.
LADY COUGARS CRUISE PAST DOLLARWAY 41-17
In women’s action, the Lady Cougars (4-3, 1-0) opened up conference play with a convincing 41-17 win over the Lady Cardinals (0-10, 0-2).
Helena-West Helena came out playing a very aggressive and smothering zone defense and got points from four different players in the first quarter on the way to a shutout of the Lady Cardinals in the period. Shiria Lindsey started things off with a three-point shot on CHS’s first possession, then Kerra Trany would get 11. By the time Destanee Hardison scored with 20 seconds left in the opening period, it was 16-0.
It was more of the same in the second quarter as the Lady Cardinals continued to struggle against the Lady Cougar defense. Dollarway finally got on the board when the Lady Cardinals hit 1-2 free throws with 7:32 to go in the first half. The Cougars then got points from Taylor Gray, Alexandria Sanders, Tara Green, Hardison, and Trancy as the lead grew to 27-3 at the intermission.
With Coach Kevin Pringle playing reserves throughout much of the second half, Dollarway was was able to put some points on the board in the second half of the third period. The Lady Cardinals scored six points in the final 3:47 of the third and Helena-West Helena led 35-9 at the end of the quarter.
The Lady Cougars played reserves much of the fourth. The last points of the game came from Brianna Guy to make the final 41-17.
Kerra Trancy led Central with 18 points.
JUNIOR COUGARS DEFEAT CARDINALS 45-38
In the junior boys contest, Helena-West Helena downed the Cardinals 45-38. The Cats never trailed. Kylen Ester had 18 points to lead Central. Jeremiah Rollett added 12.
Photos by Doug Biemeier