Hawthorne, Trenton girls clash tonight in 1A state semifinals

Tonight at 8 p.m., the Trenton girls basketball team will play defending 1A state champion Hawthorne in the Class 1A state semifinals at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

The Lady Tigers defeated Branford, 58-44, last Tuesday in the region finals.

Bri Becker was one of three players in double figures for Trenton with 25 points. Tat’iyana Jackson was next with 11 points, followed by Jordan Douglas with 10 points. Becker nearly missed a triple-double with 14 rebounds and eight assists.

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Trenton, winners of six in a row, will enter the game with a record of 23-4.

They are averaging 56 points per game and are led by senior Samarie McHenry, who averages 14.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.

The Lady Tigers are making their third appearance in the state semifinals under head coach Bryant Frye in the past seven years.

“It’s never easy to get to Lakeland, and to be fortunate to go three different times with three different teams is a blessing,” said Trenton coach Bryant Fyre. “It shows the hard work and dedication that the players have for this program and our school. I have been honored to have coached so many different types of players, and for them to trust me and what we are trying to accomplish is a true testament to the character and hard work that it takes to make it to Lakeland.”

Their opponent tonight will be 2020 state champion Hawthorne. The Lady Hornets advanced with 47-29 win at No. 2 Wildwood.

Hawthorne was led in that game by sophomore Kentavia Hagins with 14 points, followed by senior Mya McGraw with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

The defending state champs are averaging 53 points per game and have their own double-double player in McGraw, a P.K. Yonge transfer who averages 11 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.

Hawthorne head coach Cornelius Ingram said the game may come down to defense: “Trenton is a very balanced team who could beat you inside or outside, so we have to be disciplined on defense in order to win.”

Hawthorne, which enters with a record of 19-4, hasn’t lost to a Class 1A school in two years when they lost to Holmes County in the 2019 state semifinals. Trenton defeated Holmes County in the Class 1A state championship that year for their third state title overall and first since 1980.

“When you make it to the final four it is difficult, but then you add in three other teams that want to achieve the same goal and it makes it even more challenging,” Frye said. “Hawthorne is well coached and play hard for Coach Ingram. They are physically and mentally prepared every time they step on the court.”

Hawthorne is looking to win back-to-back state titles in girls basketball for the first time since Wildwood won it in 2017 and 2018.

Trenton is looking for its second state title in the past three years.

“We have to make minimal mistakes and make some shots,” Frye said. “At this point, turnovers and making shots will determine our success. Along with a lot of luck.”

You can listen to tonight’s game on 106.9 FM and online at IamCountryRadio.com beginning with our pregame coverage at 7:30 p.m.

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