Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 26, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Fabulous Foursome

Holyfield sisters prove rivalry makes them a force to be reckoned with

Joe Elerson
The Athens Review

MABANK — It’s a rarity to see two sets of identical twins.

Especially so close in age.

Especially seeing them sitting on the same bench during a high school basketball game.

For Mabank Lady Panthers head coach Ashleigh Weeaks, calling on the services of seniors Kourtney and Kaitlyn and sophomores Meagan and Madison is something she is used to doing on a daily basis.

On any given night for the Lady Panthers, fans can see one of the four sisters contributing big to the success of a team which is in the top half of the District 15-3A standings.

Last year, Mabank made it to the area round of the playoffs losing to Paris North Lamar 45-39.

“Honestly, they are their biggest supporters of each other,” Weeaks said. “They push each other and you can see the tenseness sometimes, especially when they are not in a good mood. I honestly don’t see it as a rivalry and don’t think you could call it one.”

But for the sisters, Kourtney summed up how they feel about a possible sibling rivalry.

“It is really a one-on-three rivalry with them,” Kourtney said. “When I get out on the court, I get really intense out there each and every game.”

Kaitlyn said the rivalry is something she concentrates on in practices to help make her game that much better throughout the season.

“Yeah, me and Meagan and Madison kind of teamup against Kourtney, and then Kourtney does her own thing,” Kaitlyn said. “We have to stick together and band together and all that stuff on the court.”

Younger sister Meagan said Kourtney is the target of her rivalry, especially during practices.

“I think I do that in practice with Kourtney, but during the games we are always trying to work together,” Meagan said. “We do sometimes get on each other’s nerves but we have to realize that we are working as a team and it we try to concentrate on working as a team.”

Kourtney recently committed to play basketball for Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene in the fall.

She said she will be switching from her point guard position to shooting guard for coach Shanna Briggs’ Cowgirls.

Kourtney said she has seen improvement from her sisters, especially with the play of Madison and Meagan.

“They have really stepped it up as sophomores, and especially since this is their first year on varsity,” Kourtney said. “Going from freshman to varsity was really big for them and they have really stepped it up since our first game.”

Said Madison: “We have learned a lot since the very first day of practice. We are trying to pay attention by learning from their leadership (Kourtney and Kaitlyn) and if we don’t pay attention to their leadership when we get older, we won’t be good leaders.”

Weeaks said one of the strong points for the success of the program has been the camaraderie all four sisters have shown on the court this season.

“It is going to be huge and I loved having all of them on varsity this year,” Weeaks said. “When next year comes and the other two are gone, the next two can come up and take their place for two more years and be leaders and have the same spirit they had when all four were here.”  

With three games remaining in the regular season, the Holyfields are taking the season one game at a time but are ready for a possible playoff berth.

“I am excited because it is something new since I have never been to the playoffs,” Meagan said. “I think it is going to be really cool and really interesting to see how we work as a team. I think we have a good chance in the playoffs.”

Said Madison: “I am really excited about it and it is nerve-wracking but it is exciting. We need to get there first, but I think we can do it.”

“I think we need to step it up and win out this year,” Kaitlyn said. “I would like to go far in the playoffs this year.”