Devastating Loss Sees Hawthorne Eliminated in the Semifinals

Chipley Tigers Defeat Hawthorne Hornets 49-46

Lakeland, Florida was the site for another classic in its long history of hosting the FSHAA State Basketball Tournament. Chipley entered the game with 20 wins and six losses after back-to-back wins on the road at Paxton and Jay. Hawthorne was living life on the edge after yet another thriller at Newberry. Hornet sophomore star CJ Ingram hit the game-winning free throws to beat the Panthers for the second time in the postseason.

First Quarter

The first quarter left both teams struggling out of the gate as there were 13 combined turnovers during the period. Chipley Senior guard Daquayvious Sorey lead the way in scoring with five points. The Tigers led 10-9 after the opening eight minutes.

Second Quarter

Ingram made some big plays in the second period, with two putback dunks to keep Hawthorne’s deficit within one score. However, mistakes continued to plague the opposing sides as both teams only scored seven points in the quarter. Turnovers were up to a combined 26 while charging calls became a large portion of the fouls called. Chipley continued to lead 17-16 at the half, despite shooting only 21% from the field. Meanwhile, the Hornets shot 28.6% from the field.

Chipley fans made the 5-hour drive to Lakeland to cheer on their team. Photo by Alex Washburn.

Third Quarter

Baskets finally began to flow after another slow start coming out of the break. Ingram, Sorey and Tiger Guard Kyler Bryant got into double digits in scoring as the field goal percentage for both teams shot up. Chipley began hitting the free throws they were missing earlier, and they hit two three pointers during the quarter as well. The Tiger lead slightly increased to 33-30 heading into the action packed fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter

The stars began to shine in the final eight minutes of the game. CJ Ingram and Kyler Bryant took their games to another level as both sides tried to get the knockout blow. Bryant did his damage from the three-point line, but still the Tigers committed 10 turnovers during the period. Ingram took the moment and seized it by slashing into the paint time and time again. His layups continued to fall, and he got five opportunities at the free throw line during the quarter. With under ten seconds to go Hawthorne trailed by one and Chipley had the ball.

Final Seconds

CJ Ingram after Hawthorne’s 49-46 loss to Chipley. Photo by Alex Washburn.

Hornet Junior guard Karell Pope stole the ball at half court and passed it to Ingram. The star guard sliced into the paint once again, drew the blocking foul and hit the layup. Only, the referees called the foul on the floor. Most people in the building, including Tiger fans, thought the basket counted. Hawthorne trailed by one with five seconds remaining. Ingram went to the line for a chance to win the game, as he did a week ago against Newberry.

The first free throw missed. He stood at the line, not making a single move as the referee passed the ball to him. He went through his routine, two dribbles, bend the knees and then release. The shot was straight but hit back iron. Chipley pounced on the rebound as Ingram put his hands on his head and gave the ceiling a blank stare.

Chipley hit their free throws on the other end to ice the game.

CJ Ingram finished with 26 points, six rebounds, two assists, five steals and seven turnovers. He shot 5-of-11 from the free throw line.

Kyler Bryant had 20 points and six turnovers while Daquayvious Sorey fouled out of the game in the fourth with 16 points.

Chipley will play the Williston Red Devils who beat Franklin County 54-37 in the earlier semifinal. The winner will be crowned FSHAA 1A boys’ basketball champions.

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