Balanced Hawthorne wins

P.K. Yonge High School's Reggie Johnson gets tangled up with Hawthorne High School's Rashaad Jackson as both try and recover a loose ball on Tuesday night at the P.K. Yonge gym.

TRISTAN MAHER / Special to The Gainesville Sun
Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 1:53 a.m.
Michael Baker scored 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and Cornelius Ingram poured in a game-high 21 points as Hawthorne got by P.K. Yonge 73-67 in an important district battle featuring two-ranked teams Tuesday night.
The win puts the Hornets (17-6), ranked fourth in Class 2A, into the District 7 lead at 5-0. But Hawthorne first-year coach Mike Williams said he was concerned about a couple of things after the victory.
"I am worried because it is very tough to beat a team this good three times," Williams said after his team took the second of two regular-season meetings with the Blue Wave (11-7, 2-2). Hawthorne, which could possibly meet P.K. Yonge a third time in the district title game and maybe a fourth in the regional tournament, posted a 70-64 home win Jan. 17. The teams split last year's regular-season contests.
Williams' other concern was his team's difficulty at the free-throw line. The Hornets carried a 15-point cushion into the fourth quarter and held a 68-53 lead with 3:07 remaining, but shot a subpar 5-of-12 from the line in the game's final 2:12. That allowed P.K. Yonge, Class 2A's eighth-ranked club, to chip away and stay close at the end.
Jeremy Martin's three-pointer with 1:02 to go made it 70-65, but the Blue Wave had an off night shooting and could not capitalize down the stretch to absorb the setback. Hawthorne finished 14-of-28 from the free-throw line, while P.K. Yonge was 7-of-12.
"That is a major concern," said Williams, who saw Michael Baker only hit 2-of-9 from the line. "We will be in practice working on our free throws."
Regardless, Ingram knows what the win means to his team.
"This was a huge district win and it puts us in the driver's seat," said the standout swingman, who nailed three shots from beyond the arc in his 15-point first half. "My teammates also played real well tonight."
Josepf Gordon followed with 13 points, while Marcus Baker added 12 and David Lock 10 to round out the balanced attack. Reggie Johnson and Eric Jewell paced the Blue Wave with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
"I am happy we didn't quit," said P.K. Yonge coach Mark Griseck, whose team committed 18 turnovers and trailed by 21 points late in the third quarter. "We just have to work harder and get better."

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