Hawthorne in Hitchcock's Challenge finals

Published: Friday, December 28, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 12:17 a.m.

Hawthorne willed its way to a semifinal win at the 19th Annual Hitchcock's Challenge and advanced to the finals tonight against East Ridge. The Hornets (14-0) defeated host Santa Fe (5-7), 65-50 on Saturday night in front of a standing-room-only crowd in Raider Gym, while Buchholz (6-7) fell to East Ridge in the other semifinal matchup earlier in the evening, 48-29.

The Hornets' semifinal victory was fueled by 21 points from sophomore center Ed Porter, while wingman Nick Chisholm netted 15 points. The teams were deadlocked at the half, 31-31. Santa Fe junior Denarius Harris kept the Raiders in slim control most of the first half with 10 second-quarter points. He would go on to lead Santa Fe in scoring with 18, while fellow junior guard Marcus Archer chipped in 10 points.

Hawthorne's full-court defensive pressure paid off in the third, as the Hornets converted steals into transition points. Leading 45-38 after three quarters of play. The Raiders would chip the lead away to four points early in the fourth, before Hawthorne would pull away behind nine points from Chisholm.

In other semifinal action, Buchholz found itself in control in the first half in a defensive battle, leading 17-13 at halftime over East Ridge. However, the Bobcats would go on to score just 12 second-half points, while East Ridge dominated with Austin Mills' 10 third-quarter points to cruise to the 19-point win. Mills led all scorers with 16 points while teammate Markeith Allen added 10 points. The Bobcats were led by Dedric Ross with 12 points.

Buchholz will face Santa Fe in the third-place game at 6 p.m., while the Hornets will try to remain undefeated on the season and knock off East Ridge at 8 p.m. in the championship game.

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