Santa Fe Boys knock out Hawthorne 59-58, more MLK Showcase scores
HAWTHORNE — The sounds of squeaky basketball shoes filled Earl Gay Gymnasium on the campus of Hawthorne Middle/High School on Monday afternoon as the Hornets staged their MLK Shootout.
Bill Woods Court played six matches on his hardwood throughout the day, which lasted over eight hours with three girls matches and three boys matches.
The day of basketball was capped off with a big inter-county matchup between Hawthorne and Santa Fe — two programs that have made state championship appearances for their respective rankings for the past two seasons.
And the matchup didn’t disappoint as the Raiders edged the Hornets 59-58, improving Santa Fe to 9-6 on the season and bringing Hawthorne down to 5-3.
“Coming in here, we knew it was going to be a dogfight,” Santa Fe head coach Glen Banks said. “You can’t come to Hawthorne with the crowd and the vibe…it’s like a playoff vibe. So to win this one, play a close game…our best player is out.. .so to win without him and to give the effort that we gave, it was really good.”
Tied at 11 apiece going into the second quarter, the Hornets would enter the locker room with a one-point advantage. Hawthorne would continue to extend their lead to three points as both teams entered the final quarter.
Santa Fe would go on to beat Hawthorne 16-12 in the fourth quarter, with junior Makhi Lewis leading with five of his 11 points coming in the final quarter.
With the Raiders’ starting point guard and leading scorer, junior Dontrell Jenkins, unavailable, it was up to Lewis to act as Santa Fe’s director of play on Monday night.
However, it fell to Santa Fe junior Jamiel Watson to secure the victory with a trip to the free throw line with 2.3 seconds left and the game tied at 58-58.
After Watson’s first free throw bounced off the back iron, the junior made his second shot from the charity boards to win the game. Watson finished the night with a team-leading 12 points.
“If you face adversity and fight back, sometimes it works in your favor,” Banks said. “So now every time you see that you’re going to fight… We fought today and got a one point win and I’m so happy.”
The Hornets, who tied the game with less than 10 seconds left on a pair of free throws from junior Jailen Ruth, were led by rookie CJ Ingram, who had 15 points. Ruth finished her night with 13 points for Hawthorne.
Other scores of the day (boys)
Eustis def. East side 42-39
The Eustis Panthers improved to 5-11 this season, while dropping the Rams to 3-11 after the Panthers managed to pull off a buzzer-beating three from rookie Lomar Sparrow – the game’s only points of the recruit.
Eustis was led by junior Naysean Rhome, who finished the game with 12 points.
Meanwhile, Eastside was led by junior Ben Davis, who had 16 points.
PK Yonge defeated. Bell 71-42
PK Yonge Blue Wave improved to 11-7, while dropping the Bell Bulldogs to 11-7.
Blue Wave’s athleticism caused problems for the Bulldogs, who were forced to rely heavily on the size of junior Daniel Pittman. Pittman led Bell’s effort with 11 fewer points.
Meanwhile, the Blue Wave had three players rack up double-digit points, with rookie Patton Pinkins leading with 17 points and
Other scores of the day (girls)
Eustis def. Gainesville 65-55
The Eustis Panthers improved to 9-9 on the year, while dropping the Hurricanes to 10-5.
After entering the final quarter with a slim four-point lead, Eustis made three 3-point shots to further separate Gainesville and polish the ‘Canes on the stretch.
Eustis sophomore Alana Seward led the Panthers with 19 points, 12 of which came in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Gainesville was led by junior Leyah Houston, who scored a season-high 31 points to lead the Hurricanes.
St. Johns Campaign Party def. Buchholz 52-39
The St. Johns Country Day Spartans of Orange Park improved to 14-3 this season, while the Buchholz Bobcats fell to 6-10.
While three straight hits from Buchholz junior Toni Davis and three from senior Emonie McCallum kept the Bobcats in the game in the first quarter, St. Johns Country Day junior Taliah Scott was the difference maker for the Spartans. on the section.
Scott, who is the ninth-best player in the 2023 recruiting class according to ESPN and signed to Arkansas, went on to score a team-leading 30 points for the Spartans.
Meanwhile, McCallum led the Bobcats effort with 13 points.
The Rock won. Hawthorne 71-47
The Rock Lady Lions earned a winning record, going 10-9 this season, while dropping the Hornets to 9-3.
A 22-point second quarter for the Lady Lions, which was punctuated by The Rock’s junior Valerija Prtenjaca’s eight points, helped The Rock take a 15-point lead over Hawthorne before halftime.
And despite Hawthorne’s best efforts, the Hornets never found a way to stop The Rock’s three-point shot. The Lady Lions finished the game with 12 3-point shots.
Junior Rock Roksana Sajdak led the way for the Lady Lions with 21 points, while the Hornets were paced by senior Saideriel Oliver, who scored 14 points.
This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: Santa Fe Boys’ Basketball defeats Hawthorne 59-58, MLK Showcase final scores