Bisesi column: Holmes twins' career winding down

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 6, 2011

GREENSBORO — Well, Salisbury’s girls are again in the state championship, proving the Hornets have been one of the most consistent 2A programs in the Old North State.
The Hornet Empire has gained nine straight regional appearances, two straight state titles, and seven out of eight CCC championships within the last decade with no signs of slowing down. The matter-of-fact demeanor Salisbury has displayed during its run this year suggests the Hornets expect to win the CCC, expect to make the regional and contend for a state title.
However, change, at least in appearance, is on the horizon for the Hornets. After Saturday, a key chunk of their consistency the past four seasons will vanish when twins Ashia and Ayanna Holmes play the final games of their career in the Hornet backcourt and won’t be able to call each other teammates anymore. The Hornets have taken comfort in the pair’s senior leadership this year, with Ashia averaging 10.4 points per game and Ayanna providing 8.8. Each shared a court among various AAU teams and at Southeast Middle, and have partaken in the same huddles, bus rides and locker rooms. That will stop in the fall when each will play college basketball, with Ashia going to Radford and Ayanna heading to Charlotte.
The family bond the two have shared over basketball will continue, just along different paths as both have lamented.
“It hit me when I first made the decision to commit to Charlotte,” Ayanna said. “We know eventually we were going to split up whether it was college or after college.
Why now?
Ayanna says she considered going to the same school as her sister, but held off after being swayed by the Charlotte coaching staff.
“I’m going to miss playing with my sister because I know how she plays and what she’s going to do,” said Ashia, who won West Region Tournament MVP. “I think it was the better for us to go our separate ways because we’ve been together for so long. If we both can help somebody else out in our own way, then we need to do that.”
Along the way, the two acquired other qualities and brought out the best in each other.
“[Playing together] works on your trust and you trust that person,” Ashia said. “If we can get the team to have that trust in us, it’ll bring that team closer.”
Although the shots weren’t falling for Salisbury in the win against Newton-Conover, the pair charged the Hornet defense on Saturday, with each accumulating five steals as the Hornets finished with 16 as a team and held N-C to just seven field goals, two in the first half.
Although Ayanna only finished with five points Saturday on 2-of-5 shooting from the floor, the bigger picture was intact.
“To me, it’s not all about offense,” Ayanna said. “For me, if I get it done on the defensive end, I’ll be happy.”
The twins have been an integral part of the Hornets (26-1), who have now won 26 straight games after dropping its first contest to Charlotte Butler. With a game to play, Ashia has 837 points and Ayanna has 757 at the high school level.
With her MVP plaque in front her at the postgame press conference and a third straight state championship a possibility, Ashia didn’t forget to recognize her sibling.
“It’s going to be kind of hard to adjust to other people,” Ashia said. “But I’m not really worried about it.”
When the two take the floor in the Dean E. Smith Center next weekend, a chapter of their basketball heritage will end. One that’s gone on since the pair were old enough to dribble.
“Anywhere I was, she was,” said Ayanna. “And we were together playing ball.”