The Hawthorne Hornets are moving on to the state championship. The girls basketball team won its state semifinal win on Wednesday, along with some sweet revenge.
Hawthorne tops Holmes County
Last year, the Holmes County Blue Devils knocked Hawthorne out of the state tournament. A 56-40 state semifinal loss sent the Hornets packing.
This time, Hawthorne returned the favor, scraping out a gritty 50-48 win. With only three minutes remaining, Holmes County led by five. The Hornets used an 11-4 run to take back the lead and hold on.
Three players paced the Hornets with double-digit scoring performances. Antania Mason dominated for Hawthorne with a team-high 14 points.
Antania Mason (@antania_mason) takes it strong to the basket and finishes to bring Hawthorne to within one. Mason has 12 PTs after three quarters, but Hawthorne trails Holmes County 37-33.@ESPNGainesville @HawthorneHoops @ThePrepZone pic.twitter.com/h7mejvxdrW
— Mike Kennedy (@mbken84) February 26, 2020
Scouting the opposition
After overcoming Holmes County, Hawthorne finally gets the opportunity to play for a state title. Standing in its way are the Port St. Joe Sharks.
Port St. Joe rolled over two teams before squeaking by Madison County in its semifinal game of the state tournament. The Sharks trailed at halftime but overcame the deficit to come out on top, 51-48.
Mimi Larry led Port St. Joe in scoring with 14 points. Mari Johnson and Amani Jones each added a double-double for the Sharks.
Playoff experience beneficial for Hornets
Hawthorne is no stranger to postseason basketball. Despite falling just short last year, the team gained valuable experience in its deep playoff run. In last year’s loss to Holmes County, Hornets head coach Cornelius Ingram learned what his team has to do to win the big game.
Additionally, Ingram sees the bigger picture. For the Hawthorne girls’ basketball program, it’s a chance to make a statement and an impact. A victory means the first girls basketball state championship in school history.
Closing in on game-time
Hawthorne (28-2) and Port St. Joe (26-5) tip-off at 7 PM on Friday at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. According to Ingram, the Hornets seem to be hitting their stride at the right time.