It wasn’t always pretty, but the Hawthorne boys’ basketball team pulled away in the second half to secure a 66-34 win over Chiefland to improve their winning streak to 15 games.
Another slow start once again plagued the Hornets. In their previous game against P.K. Yonge, they fell behind by 10 before coming back to win. Against Chiefland, it took them until the second quarter to crack double-digit points.
Unlike against the Blue Wave, however, the only time Hawthorne trailed Chiefland was 1-0. Despite scoring only eight points in the opening period, Hawthorne still led by two entering the second quarter.
“I mean, we have to give them credit — they played really well defensively in the first half,” Hawthorne head coach Greg Bowie said. “We have got to get rid of these slow starts.”
Turning it around
The Hornets’ offense showed a bit of life in the second quarter, opening up with a 9-0 run. They went into the half with a 24-15 lead.
“We got out on the break, got some easy layups and I think that’s what opened the gap up,” Bowie said.
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The team cut down on the turnovers and missed shots in the third quarter, playing with more focus.
“I was just preaching effort at halftime,” Bowie said. “I don’t think we played with a lot of energy. We came out flat.”
Bowie said the team didn’t need to change what they were doing defensively because they were already taking care of business on that end. The offense needed energizing, and the team responded by improving its point total in each quarter from eight to 16 to 19 to 23.
By the end of the game, the Hornets had nearly doubled up the Indians 66-34, which almost matched the final score of their earlier match-up when Hawthorne won 66-37.
Torey Buie, the team’s leading scorer at 16.9 points per game, led the Hornets again with 17 points. He scored 12 of those points in the second half, spearheading the run. Key’Shawn Williams and Donavan Wright were the other two Hornets in double figures, scoring 11 and 10 points respectively.
Jeremiah James set up the offense per usual, while Deshawn Baskin, Jarrett Hughes and Joshua Hayes made significant contributions off the bench.
Quay Brodus led the way for Chiefland, scoring 21 of their 34 points and hitting two 3-pointers in the process.
Gearing up for postseason play
Sitting at 16-1 and riding a 15-game winning streak, the Hornets are primed for another deep playoff run. While Bowie says it is hard keeping players focused for the upcoming postseason push, he says the team is already working on it.
“Coaching 16. 17. 18-year-old kids is tough. Success can hurt you a bit,” he said. “They get a little relaxed, so we try to switch it up, doing different situations in practice to make it more competitive.”
The Hornets will look to continue their winning streak on Monday against North Florida Educational Institute. Chiefland will try to improve on its 2-12 record on the road against Trenton on Friday.