Dixie Hollins senior Candace Hollis has a career night in a 70-62 victory against Northeast.
By JOHN SCHWARB
© St. Petersburg Times,
published December 7, 2001
ST. PETERSBURG -- Candace Hollis insists it's not cockiness, but when she says she's in the zone, forget it -- there is no getting her out of it.
Everyone in attendance Thursday night at Dixie Hollins certainly left convinced, as the Rebel senior forward poured in a career-high 40 points to pace Dixie past Northeast, 70-62 in a Class 5A, District 10 game.
Hollis scored seven points in the first 2 1/2 minutes to put Dixie on top, six in the last 2 1/2 minutes to help Dixie stay on top, and a mere 27 in between in one of the most dominating performances of the young season.
"I just feel when I get inside, I really can't be stopped," said Hollis, who came in averaging 20 points per game. "I feel the fire, and when that happens, regardless of whether there's an opponent there or not, I take it."
"It's fire. You can see it in her eyes," Dixie coach Regina Wilkerson said. "When I was in high school, they used to say that about me, that "she has a fire.' I never knew what they meant, but now I see it."
Hollis did all of her damage in the paint, and Northeast had no one capable of consistently matching up with her.
LaShawn Ross and Shamika Forbes also contributed inside, forcing the Vikings to account for other players besides Hollis.
Northeast (3-3, 1-2) showed fight early, forging a 12-12 tie midway through the first quarter after Lauren Clark scored eight points in 33 seconds with a layup and two 3-pointers from the right corner.
But Dixie (5-2, 3-1) answered with a 14-2 run and a 10-1 run.
Northeast chipped away in the second half, but Hollis had an answer each time.
When Katie Crum scored inside off a May Alves pass late in the third quarter to get to 52-42, Hollis drew a foul and hit two free throws.
Late in the fourth, the Vikings erased the double-digit deficit, but only briefly.
Of Crum's team-high 16 points for Northeast, five came in the final 2:54, and Hollis answered each time with free throws.
Hollis hit 6 of 8 down the stretch and 9 of 12 overall.