Hawthorne Girls Basketball Dominates in 78-16 District Semifinal Win

By Wade Urtz and Jesse Bratman

The No. 1 seed Hawthorne High School girls basketball team won its first A1-District 6 tournament game, 78-16, against four seed Bell on Wednesday at Fort White High School. 

Hawthorne In Control

Hawthorne (17-3) came with defensive intensity with a full-court press, putting a lot of pressure on Bell’s guards to get the ball up the court. The Hornets forced turnovers which they converted into fast-break layups.

Hawthorne had 18 of its 26 points off turnovers in the first quarter. The quarter ended with Hawthorne guard De’Mya Adams bringing her defender to the ground with a crossover and hitting a 3-pointer. 

Hawthorne guard Lakijah Brown (3) coverts a layup in the first quarter of Wednesday’s game. [Jesse Bratman]
“Coming into the game we wanted a fast start,” Hawthorne coach Cornelius Ingram said. “We wanted to move without fouling, move our feet and keep active hands. The girls executed the game plan.”

Bell Tries To Adjust

The Bulldogs (8-13) switched defenses in the second quarter, going from a 3-2 zone to a 2-3 zone. However, Hawthorne did not let up the pressure from it press, continuing Bell’s turnover problem. The man-to-man continued to dominate once Bell did get across half court. 

Hawthorne was able to break the Bell zone from the perimeter shooting 3-pointers. Adams had three of them, including one as time expired. She finished the half with a game-high 25 points. 

“I love the way we played on defense,” Ingram said in response to his team giving up only 11 first-half points.  

Efficient Clock Management

With a large lead, Hawthorne slowed down the pace of the game in the second half. Hawthorne prioritized ball control, not allowing Bell any momentum to get back into the game. 

Hawthorne Timeout
The Hawthorne girls basketball team during a timeout in the fourth quarter Wednesday. [Jesse Bratman]
Ranicia Coleman led the way for the Hornets in the second half, scoring a team-high eight points in the half. She converted the first four field goals for the Hornets to open the half. 

What’s Next

For the second consecutive season, the Hornets find themselves in the district tournament final. In a rematch of the 2023 final, Hawthorne matches up against two seed Newberry (15-7). Hawthorne prevailed against Newberry, 64-48, last year. 

Newberry eliminated three seed Fort White (5-15) in Wednesday’s other semifinal, 79-48.

Hawthorne looks to lean on the experience of last season’s triumph to win another district title. Seven members of the Hawthorne squad participated in last season’s district final. 

“I’ve got a mature bunch who comes to work and really puts the work in every single day,” said Ingram, who led the Hawthorne football team to its second consecutive state title last fall. “Having a mature bunch, it helps you as a coach and it should give us an edge to compete in the district championship.”  

The championship is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Fort White.

Hawthorne starting center Jhalea Jackson said, “I hope we can make it to state again and get another ring.” 

 

About Wade Urtz

2nd year student at the University of Florida majoring in Sports and Media Journalism. Orlando born and raised. Always looking for a game to learn about, cover and enjoy.

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