When senior Jaz’lyn Jackson went down with an ankle injury in the second quarter of Tuesday night’s Region 3-1A final against Newberry, the Hawthorne Hornets girls basketball team had to find someone to replace their leading scorer.
Luckily for Hawthorne, their second-leading scorer was ready to take over. And take over sophomore De’Mya Adams did.
Adams scored 27 points in the second half and ended with a career-high 41 points as host Hawthorne (13-5) defeated Newberry, 80-55. The Hornets, who will play in the 1A state semifinals at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland on Feb. 22, are in the Final Four for the fourth time in five seasons.
Hawthorne won the 1A state title in 2020 and was state runner-up in 2021.
This was the second meeting between Hawthorne and Newberry in the last 11 days. Hawthorne won the District 6-1A championship game at Newberry 64-48, on Feb. 3.
This game started a little differently from the previous one as the Hornets and Panthers rotated lead changes in the opening period. Jackson scored 10 points and Adams added seven as Hawthorne led Newberry, 19-15, after the opening quarter.
Hawthorne was hanging on to a 26-25 lead when Jackson went down with what appeared to be an ankle injury. She was helped off the court and the Hornets had to replace her 17 points a game.
First, junior T’myrah Carter had back-to-back steals and baskets to extend the Hornets lead. She had eight steals and six points.
“D’Mya (Adams) was special on the offensive end and Jhalea (Jackson) was solid both inside and out,” Hawthorne coach Cornelius Ingram said. “But if I was to give a game ball I would give it to Carter. When the game was tight, she sparked the entire bench and all the girls on the floor and the fans. That was a turning point in the game.”
Hawthorne extend the lead to 37-27 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Adams took over. She scored 12 points in the period and Hawthorne extended the lead to 57-41 going into the final period.
Adams added 15 more points in the fourth quarter.
“She (Adams) is so skilled, I think she probably hit a three tonight and she may have hit maybe two mid-range jump shots and three or four floaters and layups even with contact,” Ingram said. “She has everything in her game and she will just continue to grow.”
Sophomore Jhalea Jackson had 14 points for Hawthorne.
Newberry (22-6) was led by freshman Brandy Whitfield with 14 points.
GIRLS (Scores) – Tuesday, Feb. 14
Class 6A-Region 1
No. 7 Land O’ Lakes 49, No. 3 Gainesville 47
Class 3A-Region 1
No. 2 P.K. Yonge 57, No. 3 Master’s Academy (Oviedo) 45 – Blue Wave (16-3) advance to Class 3A-Region 1 Final
Class 1A-Region 3
No. 1 Hawthorne 80, No. 2 Newberry 55 – Hornets (13-5) advance to the Class 1A state semifinals
Class 1A-Region 4
No. 1 Wildwood 61, No. 2 Trenton 36