APEX — In a matchup featuring two of the Tri-9 Conference’s girls’ basketball teams Tuesday night, Middle Creek only led after the game’s opening basket, scored by senior guard Betsy Dohrer. The rest was all Holly Springs.
The Golden Hawks cruised en route to a 55-32 win. The host Mustangs (9-6) kept the game close going into halftime but could not contain the dual threat of junior forward Kiara Leslie and senior guard Ka’la Jordan.
Leslie led all scorers with 17 points and Jordan finished with 11, the only two players in double figures.
Along with Leslie and Jordan, junior center Maddie Perry was a force to be reckoned with in the paint. Whether it was blocking shots or posting up defenders, her presence was felt throughout the contest.
“Any time you hold a team to under 40 points, that’s good defense. I’m blessed to have some hard working girls,” said Holly Springs head coach Richard Young, whose team improved to 13-2 overall.
The Mustangs’ offensive strategy changed toward the end of the first half – attack in the paint and head to the free throw line.
“Middle Creek came out very aggressive offensively and we got in foul trouble, so we had to go zone,” Young said. “They got a lot of points when we were in our man-to-man. I love man-to-man but they got points, so we had to go to zone.”
The Golden Hawks held an 11-point lead headed into the second half, and didn’t look back.
From the opening possession of the second half the Golden Hawks dominated the Mustangs, only allowing eight points in the third quarter.
Leslie intercepted a pass and finished off the play with a lay-up to open up the second half, followed by a quick score down low to Perry, after a Mustang turnover, to open the scoring in the first minutes of play.
From then on, the Golden Hawks dominated in all aspects of the game. As the quarters went on, Middle Creek watched as their deficit grew larger. At the end of three quarters, Holly Springs cushioned an already large lead, 47-27.
Dohrer finished tied for a team-high six points.
Middle Creek will travel to Apex high school and Holly Springs will play Lee County at home on Friday.
“It’s a conference win on the road and the Tri-9 is tough, so we’re just going to try and keep it going,” Young said.