The Hawthorne Hornets entered this game with aspirations of a trip to the 1A state championship. Only one obstacle stood in the way of a trip to Lakeland– Madison County. The Cowboys were eager to prove that they deserved the trip instead of Hawthorne. None was more eager than Madison County’s star junior Travis Jay. His statistics this year jump off the page, falling just 1.6 assists shy of averaging a triple-double.
Hawthorne coach Greg Bowie knew this entering the game, and considered it when chalking up his game plan:
However, it was sophomore forward Demarvion Brown that rose to the occasion, posting 23 points to lead all scorers. Madison County has too many athletic scorers, so committing to shutting down the player with the best numbers just didn’t cut it.
Bowie has been critical of his team, citing that they struggle to play quality basketball from start to finish:
This became evident right from the opening tip. At one point in the first quarter, the Hornets found themselves down 19-5. Thanks to this slow start, they were never able to bring the margin below double digits. Every time Hawthorne made a small run, Madison County immediately shut it down. When the dust finally settled, the score read 70-40.
What Hawthorne hoped to be a ticket to a new banner turned into a statement game for Madison County, serving to warn their opponents what they are capable of.
They will play the winner of Wildwood versus Bell in the state semifinal on March 5th. For Hawthorne, this marked the end of the careers of four seniors, including captains Devin Lawrence and Mikel Crawford. Lawrence led his team with 15 points in his final game. They finished their final season with a 23-6 overall record.