Hawthorne Kyler Ingram (140 pressures Gainesville Hurricanes Cordarius White (44). Gainesville High School hosted the Hawthorne Hornets at Gainesville High School in Gainesville, FL on Wednesday, January 3, 2024. The Hurricanes defeated the Hornets 66-61. [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]

Hawthorne Boys Basketball Ready For Regionals

After a 4-4 start to the season, Hawthorne has won 12 straight games and will host a regional playoff game against Fort White (16-6) tonight. Hornets head coach Greg Bowie was on Sport Scene with Steve Russell to talk about their season and the 1A regional semifinal game tonight.

How They Got Here

Coach Bowie said, given their rough start, he didn’t see toughness in this group at first. However, he said winning in overtime their last time out against Newberry showed their grit and how they’ve improved over the course of the season.

However, when asked if they were playing their basketball, Bowie said they weren’t. He said the Hornets are still starting slow, and need to hit their shots early in the game. However, he said they’re playing good on the defensive side of the ball, and are hoping to end the trend of going down early.

About Fort White

Bowie praised Fort White sophomore guard Jayden Jackson. He said that he’s the “player he thought he was.” In the Hornets last game at Fort White, it was a back-and-forth contest until the fourth quarter when Hawthorne pulled away. Bowie added that the Indians play the way the Hornets want to. He said they press, get up and down the floor, and play hard out on the court.

Familiar Foes

Since it’s a small class, the 1A teams play each other a lot. Does that familiarity help out in the game? Bowie said it might in some circumstances, but only on a night-to-night basis. However, it helps to know a team’s playing style and to be familiar with how to counter it.

The Road Ahead

The winner of this game will advance to play the winner of Hilliard (22-2) and Newberry (15-8).

You can view the full bracket here:

2024 Boys Basketball State Tournament (1A) (maxpreps.com)

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