#2 No. 3 Holy Innocents’ 66, #1 No. 1 St. Francis 53: Holy Innocents’ (26-5) repeated as state champions behind two first half runs that gave the Golden Bears enough separation to hold off St. Francis (27-4). Trailing 16-15 after the first quarter, Holy Innocents’ ripped off a 10-0 run to take a 25-16 lead as Jada Farrell scored 14 of her game-high 21 points in the opening half. St. Francis found its footing mid-way through the quarter and got big minutes from freshman post Trynce Taylor who came off the bench to chip in 8 points and 5 rebounds for the game. The Knights went into halftime down 31-27 before the Golden Bears used a 12-0 spurt to take a commanding 43-27 lead. After digging themselves a deep hole, St. Francis tried to fight back .The Knights trailed 48-40 after three quarters and trimmed the lead to 48-44 at the 6:52 mark following a jumper from Oregon State-signee Savannah Samuel but from that point on it was all Golden Bears. Holy Innocents’ pieced together an 11-3 run to regain control keyed by a Jill Hollingshead corner three with 5:20 remaining to push the lead to 53-44. Hollingshead was held in check for most of the game, finishing with 11 points, 14 rebounds and 1 steal. Rachel Suttle erupted in the second half for the Golden Bears, scoring 16 of her 19 points to go along with 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. While the Knights played tough defense on the 6-foot-5 forward, they continued to leave points at the line. St. Francis finished the game 13-23 from the stripe, hindering their attempts at a comeback. Samuel, who led the Knights with 11 points and 4 rebounds and 3 blocks, fouled out with 2:16 remaining with the Knights down 11. Mia Moore added 11 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists before also fouling out. Notre Dame-signee Amirah Abdur-Rahim had 9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. - Credit: https://sandysspiel.com/2019-20-ghsa-state-championship-recaps/
You think a 30-0 Hebron Christian girls' basketball team with a very experienced coach could stop our Lady Bears from a seventh straight state championship bid?
In a battle where the lead changed hands several times – particularly in the second half – a late free throw by Jillian Hollingshead helped ice Coach Nichole Dixon & Company's 52-48 win over Hebron, and with it yet another trip to Macon to the state finals – no directions required.
HI will face St. Francis, winners over Wesleyan in the other semifinal, Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Macon Coliseum.
After Hollingshead hit the first of two at the charity stripe, Hebron ended with the ball under their basket with 12 seconds left. A shot from the corner clanged off the rim, and HI – state champs last year – will now battle for their fourth Georgia title in school history come Wednesday.
The Bears led 14-7 after a quarter; were ahead by three at half but went into the final frame down by a point.
Hollingshead again was at the top of the stat sheet – the junior scored 20 points while pulling eight rebounds. Charlsie Birkel added nine points; Naja Reeves scored eight and had three steals; Olivia Hutcherson scored four points and pulled four rebounds; Jada Farrell scored four with five boards; and Cierra Foster netted two points.
Hope to see you in Macon Wednesday. If not, pull out your streaming devices and send the Lady Bears championship vibes once again.
Let's do this!
Credit: Dunn Neugebauer
Coach Nichole Dixon’s girls ran their record to 5-1 with their easy 61-29 win. It was 10-0 after three minutes as the Bears used pressure defense and unselfish ball movement in forcing 24 turnovers on the day and garnering 15 steals.
All 10 players scored; HI opened the first period with a 27-4 lead and never looked back. Jillian Hollingshead, Omari Foote, and Rachel Suttle all scored in double figures – Hollingshead led with 13, Foote added 12, and Suttle 10.
Naja Reeves and Olivia Hutcherson both netted five, Jada Farrell and Caroline Berkey each put in four, Charlsie Birkel and Eliza Gaskill added three each, and Ellie Crosswell picked up two.
Hutcherson led the rebounding with 10 while Suttle and Hollingshead both grabbed five. Suttle led in steals with six; Hollingshead had four. - DUNN
The Holy Innocents’ girls’ hoops squad celebrated Thanksgiving with a victory Friday morning at Holiday Hoopsgiving - played at HI - as our Bears held on for a 40-35 win over Greenforest.
Coach Nichole Dixon’s squad (4-1) had a seemingly healthy 26-15 lead at the half, but the Eagles soared back to cut the lead to two at one point in the third period and sliced it to one with just 3:33 left in the game.
Fortunately, HI was able to stall all a lot of the clock in the final two minutes, while both Jillian Hollingshead and Jada Farrell hit a free throw each in the last 56 seconds.
Looking at the stat sheet, Hollingshead finished with 16 points and four rebounds, while Rachel Suttle had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards to go with three assists. Jada Farrell scored nine, Olivia Hutcherson contributed 10 rebounds and six steals, and Caroline Berkey picked up three steals. - DUNN
The Lady Bears ran into a buzzsaw in perennial Tennessee powerhouse, Ensworth High of Nashville. It was the girls first loss of the season against three victories – they will be in action again this at Holiday Hoopsgiving, played at HI, where they will face Greenforest Friday at 10:30 a.m. and Central Macon Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
Jillian Hollingshead had another great outing in the Ensworth blemish, scoring 20 points, grabbing nine rebounds and passing off for three assists. Rachel Suttle netted 15 and pulled five boards, and Naja Reeves totaled eight with six steals and five assists.
Charlsie Birkel also scored eight; Olivia Hutcherson added five points and four rebounds, and Jada Farrell contributed a field goal. - DUNN
The Lady Bears fought off a gritty GAC group. The victory was another case of many chipping in, though Jillian Hollingshead had a monster performance with 28 points and three blocked shots. Olivia Hutcherson was also a force, scoring seven and pulling 11 rebounds and blocking two shots.
Looking at some more key stats, Jada Farrell came away with seven points, seven rebounds, and five assists; Omari Foote scored seven and pulled eight rebounds, and Rachel Suttle contributed three points. - DUNN
The Lady Bears were back at it again @ Pace Academy for the Hawks-Naismith Tip-Off Classic. Although the Bears were playing without two key contributors, they got off to a hot start, leading 13-5 after one, and 30-14 at the half.
The 2nd half was much like the first, with the girls gradually pulling away for a 63-29 victory over Marietta. Freshman Olivia Hutcherson had a huge game with 14 pts, 15 rebounds and 8 steals. Jillian Hollingshead followed that up with 12 pts and 12 rebounds. Rounding out the Bears balanced scoring were Charlsie Birkely with 9, and Naja Reeves & Omari Foote each with 8. The Bears improve to 2-0. The ladies will be back in action Thursday, November 21st @ GAC.
The Golden Bear hoops’ squads got the 2019-2020 seasons off and running last night on the road at Brookwood, and with mixed results. The girls left with a 56-37 win.
The girls will be at Pace to take on Marietta High School this Saturday.
Coach Nichole Dixon & company picked up where they left off last year after their state championship season, winning with balance as many factored in the stat sheet.
Two scored in double figures – Rachel Suttle led with 12 points; Jada Farrell followed with 10. Going down the line, Charlsie Birkel and Jillian Hollingshead both had eight, Naja Reeves and Logan Jackson each added six, Olivia Hutcherson pitched in four, and Omari Foote had two.
Hollingshead led the boards, pulling 12 rebounds to go with her eight assists and three blocked shots; Reeves passed off for four assists, Suttle grabbed seven boards, and Hutcherson blocked two shots and had two steals. -James Dunn
Not this time Wesleyan! The Holy Innocents’ Golden Bear girls’ basketball team – after dropping the last two state finals to the Wolves and three of the last four – got revenge and then some Wednesday afternoon in Macon, routing the rivals 75-48.
The title marks the third girls’ hoops state championship in school history – the first back in 1999 and the last in 2016 under Coach Tony Watkins. This year’s trophy comes home despite a girls’ team that had no seniors on its roster. Nichole Dixon’s bunch finished the year at (26-6).
Wesleyan never led in this one as Marya Hudgins hit a three to open the game. Up 7-6 midway through the first period, the Bears then went on an 18-5 run that lasted deep into the second stanza and never looked back.
Dixon’s bunch led 16-11 after the first eight minutes, largely behind Jillian Hollingshead’s eight points and a Jada Farrell three to go with Hudgins’. Hollingshead hit nine of her first 11 shots and finished the night with 25 points.
In the second period, it was Cierra Foster who kept the Bears’ spark going. The sophomore scored six points while passing off for more baskets and picking up some long rebounds to boot. The Wolves sliced a bit into the Bear lead late into the frame with a field goal and a three, but Logan Jackson hit an inside bucket to put HI up 27-18 at the break.
Hollingshead opened the second half erasing any doubt of a Wesleyan comeback, scoring two early buckets and scoring 13 in the quarter as the Bears opened up a 17-point lead going into the final eight minutes. Farrell came up big in the last period, netting 13 of her 15 points on the day.
Looking at the stat sheet - besides Hollingshead and Farrell's point production - Hudgins scored 9, all on three pointers, Foster finished with eight, Rachel Suttle contributed seven, and Logan Jackson and Charlsie Birkel both netted four. Suttle also grabbed 11 rebounds, Hollingshead 10, and Foster passed off for eight assists.
The margin of victory outdid the '99 title team that outscored Buford 71-46, in a game also played in Macon.
Congrats to Coach Dixon, her staff, the players, and all involved in what was one of the best Lady Bear hoops seasons ever. BEARS! (26-6)
For the sixth year in a row, the Holy Innocents’ girls’ basketball is heading to the state finals. The Bears earned their bid in more than dominating fashion Saturday at North Georgia University, blowing past Calvary Day (27-4) of Savannah 70-30.
In the Calvary victory, it was balance that got the job done, as eight players scored – three in double figures. Marya Hudgins led with 13 points; Jada Farrell followed with 12; and Jillian Hollingshead added 10. Charlsie Birkel and Rachel Suttle chipped in nine each, while Cierra Foster scored eight. The Bears advance to the title with a (25-6) record.
With the victory, Coach Nichole Dixon’s squad will meet the Wesleyan Wolves in a championship game for the 5th consecutive time. This will mark the 6th time in a row the Lady Bears have played for a championship, with their record in those games sitting at (1-4) in the previous 5. The Lady Bears are looking to flip the script this year.
The girls’ basketball team once again came out of the gates with a flurry Tuesday night, easily pounding past Mt. Paran for 69-35 in the Elite 8 at home. With the victory, Coach Nichole Dixon & Company will be in action again Saturday vs. Calvary Day at North Georgia University - time to be announced.
The Bears opened up a 24-7 lead after the first eight minutes, led mostly by the hot shooting of Jada Farrell, who hit two 3’s and had eight points in the quarter. Farrell ended the night leading all scorers with 22, 12 of them on 3-pointers.
Marya Hudgins (13 points), scored seven in the first period, as did Jillian Hollingshead, who ended with 11.
The Bears opened up a 38-19 lead at intermission and 58-28 going into the final period.
Besides Farrell, Hudgins, and Hollingshead’s scoring production, another major stat came from sophomore guard Cierra Foster, who passed off for 12 assists. (24-6)
The Lady Bears jumped on the visiting Eagles early, carrying a 48-17 margin into the break. Holy Innocents' got balanced scoring led by Marya Hudgins with 15pts. Also contributing to the balanced attack were Rachel Suttle with 12pts/8reb, Charlsie Birkel with 12pts coming off of 4 3-pointers, Jada Farrell's 11pts/5reb, and Cierra Foster contributing 7 assists.
With the loss, Greenforest finishes the year (19-7). The Golden Bears advance to the Elite 8. Next up, is Mt. Paran (24-3) at 6PM Tuesday, February 26th. This will be the Lady Bears last home game. With the win over Greenforest, the girls up their record to (23-6).
The Golden Bear girls’ basketball team capped off a great day of Holy Innocents’ sports, bringing home the region championship with a win over rival Wesleyan. (22-7)
The title capped off a banner postseason day as far as winter sports, as earlier the Aqua Bears marked two individual state titles while the Mat Bears qualified most of their team for next weekend’s state meet in Macon.
As for the hoops’ squad, it was Coach Nichole Dixon & Company’s second win over Wesleyan this year – this time by a 72-50 margin on the Wolves’ home floor. The Bears knocked off their rivals 68-63 at Wesleyan earlier this year during regular season.
The calling card for Dixon’s squad remained balance, as plenty were among the top of the stat sheet. Rachel Suttle led the scoring with 23 points; Jillian Hollingshead followed with 22 and 10 rebounds.
Cierra Foster and Marya Hudgins also stepped up – Foster had nine points, eight rebounds and a game high seven assists while Hudgins contributed seven points and seven boards.
Tune in early next week for the state playoff brackets, where both the girls and the boys will be in action.
The Golden Bears jumped on top of Landmark early and didn't let up before leaving with a 65-51 win. The girls improve to (21-7), and set up a rematch with rival Wesleyan at 5:00 pm on Saturday.
The Bears watched their half-time lead grow to 40-19 before letting off the gas. The girls were paced by Jillian Hollingshead's 16 pts and 6 rebounds. Following up Hollingshead were Marya Hodgins with 13 pts & 9 rebounds, Logan Jackson with 11pt & 7 rebounds, and Cierra Foster's 7 assists.
The girls’ turned back Elite Scholars 69-27, improving to (20-7) on the year.
The conference Final Four is slated for Friday; the championship games are Saturday – all will be played at Wesleyan.
Starting with the girls, it was balance that was once again the Bears’ calling card, as most of the squad turned in key stats. Jada Farrell led the scoring with 15 points and also had three steals; Marya Hudgins was solid with 13 points, three steals, three assists, and two blocked shots.
Naja Reeves scored eight and passed off for four assists; Ansley Diaz and Jillian Hollingshead scored six points each. Rachel Suttle and Renee Davis had career highs; Rachel did so with 10 steals and five assists while Davis grabbed a high of eight rebounds.
The Lady Bears wrapped up the regular season undefeated in region play. The Bears had no trouble with the visiting Pythons, jumping ahead 21-5 after one quarter and ending the half up 43-11.
Jillian Hollingshead scored 12 points and pulled 13 rebounds; Marya Hudgins had 10 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists; Cierra Foster scored seven to go with seven assists; Rachel Suttle had 14 points and seven rebounds; and Jada Farrell added 11 points and 12 boards.
Logan Jackson and Ellie Croswell also had good nights – Logan netted eight points to go with five rebounds while Ellie scored eight points. The Bears finished the regular season (18-7). Next up is the region tournament being held at Wesleyan.
The Lady Bears rolled to a 48-6 half-time lead versus conference foe WD Mohammed, and never looked back. The Bears cruised to a 75-24 victory, getting everyone involved in the action.
Marya Hudgins starred with 12 points, four rebounds, and five steals; Naja Reeves scored 12 points to go with four rebounds and three steals; Jillian Hollingshead contributed 12 points, six rebounds and three steals; Ellie Crosswell scored 10 points and pulled five rebounds; Rachel Suttle netted eight points and had eight rebounds; and Jada Farrell had an 10-point, seven-rebound night. The girls improved to (17-7) on the year and are one win away from securing 1st place in the region tournament. The Bears will be back in action against Paideia, Friday night at 6pm.
The girls’ squad picked up yet another one-sided win, this time a 70-34 non-conference route over GAC Saturday at home. HI jumped out to a 24-4 lead after a quarter and 44-16 at half in its dominating performance.
Jillian Hollingshead had an 18-point, 10 rebound game; Jada Farrell scored 14 to go with eight rebounds; Rachel Suttle scored 11 points, had six rebounds and three assists; Marya Hudgins netted 11, pulled six boards and had three assists; Cierra Foster scored eight to go with four assists and three steals, and Logan Jackson added six points. The girls advance to (16-7).
Coach Nichole Dixon got great balanced play as normal; the team shot 71% from the free throw line, came away with 16 steals, and had 24 assists.
Four scored in double figures – Jada Farrell led with 14, Jillian Hollingshead followed with 13, Marya Hudgins netted 12, and Logan Jackson scored 10. Farrell also came away with 12 rebounds to go with three assists; Hollingshead had six rebounds and seven steals, and Hudgins added seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
Jackson also pulled eight rebounds and Rachel Suttle scored nine points. The bears improve to (15-7).
The girls’ basketball team left no doubt from the opening tip Monday afternoon at home, racing to a 12-0 lead and never looking back in a 62-35 win over the larger Woodstock High School.
Balance was again the order of the day as nine Bears scored; Coach Nichole Dixon’s squad also had a season record of 22 assists.
Jillian Hollingshead led the charge with 13 points, eight rebounds, and four steals; Marya Hudgins netted 13 to go with six rebounds and four steals. She was also 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
Jada Farrell put in 11 points and had nine rebounds and nine assists; and Rachel Suttle scored eight. Lady Bears advance to (14-7).
Coach Nichole Dixon’s squad followed a big victory over rival Wesleyan with an easy 63-12 region win Saturday over Atlanta Classical, where Elllie Crosswell scored a career high 24 points and Renee Davis added 10. The girls will face Woodstock Monday and Atlanta International Friday - both games at home. The Bears are now (13-7) on the season, and hold sole position of first place in the region.
It was a rematch of the state championship game of the Class A – Private the past four years and it didn’t disappoint. This time, it was Holy Innocents’ that prevailed over Wesleyan Friday on the road in a 68-63 win.
It took the whole team but the whole team delivered- eight players scored and the Bears got it done at the other end of the floor as well. Freshman Marya Hudgins had a career night, scoring 26 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the 3-point line and a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line. She also pulled eight rebounds.
At the defensive end, it was Rachel Suttle who shone – keeping the Wolves’ top scorers at bay while netting nine points herself to go with five rebounds and three steals. Naja Reeves came off the bench to tally 10 points and three rebounds; Cierra Foster – after sitting out with an injury last year – added nine points, nine assists, four rebounds and four steals.
Saturday, the Bears lost a non-conference game against another stellar opponent in Cherokee. The Bears fell 66-58 on the road. HI almost came back from a 19-point deficit; cut the lead to two points with minutes left before Cherokee nailed free throws down the stretch to ice it.
Hudgins scored 18, Hollingshead 12, Jada Farrell 11, and Foster nine to lead. Bears fall to (9-7)
After playing arguably the toughest non-conference schedule in the state, the Holy Innocents’ girls’ hoops squad began region play with an exclamation point last Friday at home, topping Galloway 77-24.
This was somewhat a reward for Coach Nichole Dixon & Company, as they played some of the best teams in the nation over Christmas break in Naples, FL before facing #1-ranked Lovejoy the weekend before back home.
Swarming defense and balance were the keys in the Galloway victory, as nine of the 10 Bears scored while HI forced 29 turnovers in the process despite the shortened second half. Dixon’s bunch also scored 40 points in transition.
Looking at the stat sheet, Jillian Hollingshead led with 19 points, Marya Hudgins followed with 14, Logan Jackson scored nine after returning from injury, and Cierra Foster tallied eight. HI improves to (9-6)
The Lady Bears took some haymakers early and often in this heavyweight bout. HIES found themselves down 40-25 at half-time, thanks in large part to some hot shooting from the Wildcats. The Wildcats opened the game 8 of 11 from the 3pt line and never slowed down, finishing the game 11 of 17 from beyond the arc. The Bears were never able to get in the game, falling 46-64 to one of Georgia's top teams. The loss drops the Bears to (8-6) on the season.
HIES was led by Jillian Hollingshead and Rachel Suttle with 11 and 9 pts respectively.