A sting to burn all offseason long
NEWBERRY — Detron Green asserted Hawthorne’s dominance with a steal and dunk on a fast break late in the first quarter.
It was just two of many points the Hornets would score against the Indians.
It was also one of many turnovers committed by Fort White.
In the end, it was a recipe for disaster that ended the Indians’ season Friday night.
Green scored a team-high 17 points and Nick Baskin scored 16 more to lead Hawthorne to a 66-47 victory over Fort White in a District 6-1A semifinal Friday night at Newberry High.
The top-seeded Hornets jumped out to 16-3 lead on Green’s dunk and led by as many as 27 points in a game they never trailed. Hawthorne had 11 steals, three apiece from Devin Lawrence and Green.
“We didn’t take care of the ball. We turned the ball over too many times and gave them easy baskets,” Fort White head coach Isiah Phillips said. “That’s stuff we normally don’t do. You can’t beat a good team by turning the ball over.”
The Indians trailed 18-5 to begin the second quarter but went on a 13-4 run to pull to within two points on a layup by senior Mahari Peoples, his only two points of the game. Green answered with his own layup for a 22-18 lead before D.J. Jackson pulled Fort White back to within two points with a jumper.
Jackson scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the game where it looked as if Fort White might rally for the second straight night after coming back from 11 down against Williston in the district quarterfinals Tuesday night.
But the Indians (9-18) never got closer the rest of the game.
“I told them to settle down and not try to get it all back at one time. I told them a little at a time. It’s going to be a game of inches and we got it a little bit of a time,” Phillips said. “But then I had a couple of guys in the rotation get in foul trouble and I had to take them out. That threw us off again.”
Hawthorne responded with a 10-2 run to close the half for a 32-22 lead at the break.
Peoples then fouled out less than a minute into the third quarter and Fort White never recovered. The Hornets (20-5) held a 22-8 edge in the third to build a 54-30 lead as the Indians kept searching for a rhythm on offense.
“We didn’t come out like we normally do,” Phillips said. “We started off in a hole, then in the second quarter we narrowed it down to within two points but we could never get in sync with an offensive rhythm.”
Nick McClain was the only other Indian to score in double figures with 13 points, nine of which came in the fourth quarter with the game already in hand. Baskin’s 3-pointer in the fourth put the Hornets ahead 59-32.
It was a big change from the teams’ last matchup, a 69-64 victory for Hawthorne at Fort White. The Hornets took all three meetings this season.
“They didn’t do anything we didn’t expect or hadn’t seen before. We played them tight before. We just didn’t execute,” Phillips said.