Hornets reload for new season

Hawthorne coach Greg Bowie led the Hornets to the Class 1A state semifinals last season.

Scott Wheeler/The Ledger/FILE
Published: Friday, November 29, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 10:11 p.m.

With the graduation of four starters and the transfer of another, Hawthorne coach Greg Bowie has a new starting five for the Hornets this season in boys basketball.

And at 3-0, Hawthorne is off to a familiar start.

Last year, the Hornets went 28-2, losing in the Class 1A state semifinals to Bonifay Holmes County (51-48), which ended up winning the state title behind UF commit Chris Walker.

Bowie got a transfer of his own this season with junior guard Kenric Bradley, who left Union County.

“The team has a totally different makeup, all five starters are gone,” said Bowie, who is in his ninth season. “But with my style of play, I rotate a lot of guys. They haven't lost a beat mostly because of the way we play.

“We play scrappy. The lack of size fits our scheme perfectly. We want to go up and down and run.”

Bradley, who is the tallest of the Hornets at 6-foot-1, averaged 10 points and three rebounds last season for the Tigers, who like Hawthorne reached its second straight 1A state tournament.

Dionte Mann, a 5-11 junior forward, averaged 7.0 points and 6.0 rebounds a game last season for Hawthorne, which plays in District 6-1A, that includes Hilliard, Bronson, Bell and Cedar Key.

“Our team has gelled together pretty quickly,” Bowie said. “All of them are unselfish, sometimes too unselfish. I believe our team will be strong enough to take the district again, but it could be a battle in the regionals with Hamilton County and Melody Christian.”

Gainesville, which also reached the state tournament in 6A after a pair of upsets on the road, had three players transfer to The Villages.

However, plenty of talent returns in 6-5 senior center Kevin Bolen and 6-3 junior forward Ike Smith.

“Bottomline, guys came back with a determined attitude to be successful on their own,” said Hurricanes coach Kelly Beckham, who is entering his sixth season at GHS and 32nd overall. “We are going to be a pretty competitive team, and we have our point guard back (Rudy Bibb-Boyd) and players like Ike Smith and Kevin Bolen, so we have some good players back.”

Last year the 'Canes fell to defensive-minded Miami Norland in the state semifinals as Norland went on to capture its second straight title. It was GHS's first appearance in Lakeland since winning it all in 2009 (5A).

“The playoff run was exciting for all the young men on the team and they would like to experience that again,” Beckham said. “That is what we all as coaches want as well.”


Buchholz Bobcats

Coach: Bob Horodyski, 21st season

District: 3-7A

2013 record: 12-14

Current record: 1-2

Returning starters: Bryan Chalifoux, Jr., G, 6-4, 11.3 ppg.; De-Andre Wilson, Sr., G, 5-10

Other expected contributors: Beau Williams, Jr., F, 6-5; Al Isaac, Sr., F, 6-2; Jalon Perry, So., G, 6-0; Jonathan Horodyski, So., G, 6-2; Miciah Lacroix, Fr., F, 6-4

Chiefland Indians

Coach: Adam Boyd, 4th season

District: 7-1A

2013 record: 16-9

Current record: 2-0

Returning starters: Deshawn Roland, Sr., PG, 5-7, 8.0 ppg.; Kyle Weeks, Sr., SG, 5-10, 10.0 ppg.; Shaquille Patterson, Sr., G, 5-8, 6.0 ppg.

Other expected contributors: Willie Brannon, Jr., C, 6-5; G'Angelo McClendon, Jr., G, 5-9, 10.0 ppg.; Kerry Harris, Jr., F, 6-3; Patrick Jackson, So., G, 5-10

Columbia Tigers

Coach: Horace Jefferson, 4th season

District: 2-6A

2013 record: 17-6

Current record: 0-1

Returning starters: Tre Clayton-Simmons, Sr., PG, 6-1, 12.0 ppg.; Dilan Hall, Jr., F, 6-2, 8.0 ppg.; Andrew Momeka, Jr., P, 6-7, 4.0 ppg.

Other expected contributors: Darrell Jones, So., G/F, 6-4; Kelvin Jonas, Jr., G, 5-7; Jordan Coppock, Jr., G, 5-7

Cornerstone Cougars

Coach: Tommy Gonzales, first season

District: 3-2A

2013 record: 2-15

Current record: 0-1

Returning starters: Jake Altom, Sr.; Jamison Wyatt, Sr.; Trent Whittemore, eighth grade

Dixie County Bears

Coach: Mike Thomas, first season

District: 7-1A

2013 record: 11-8

Current record: 0-3

Returning starters: Shaquille Mitchem, Sr., G, 5-11, 15.0 ppg.; Aaron Thomas, So., G, 6-0, 11.0 ppg.; Kiandre Hope, Sr., F, 3.0 ppg.

Other expected contributors: Clifford Jackson, Fr.; Sonny Pierre, Sr.; Macky McFall, Sr.; James Bowers, Jr.

Eastside Rams

Coach: Herman “Pop” Williams, ninth season

District: 5-5A

2013 record: 15-17 (regional semifinals)

Current record: 0-0

Returning starters: Thomas Lundy, Jr., G, 6-2, 12.0 ppg,; Marquez Ross, Jr., PG, 5-6, 6.0 ppg.; Mike Nobles, Jr., F, 6-7, 6.0 ppg.

Other expected contributors: Barry Johnson, Sr.; Seth Brown, Sr.; Darius Norman, Jr., 6-1, W; Joseph McCray, Fr., 6-3, W/F; Miquel Hicks, Sr., 6-0, G; Chris Williams, Fr., 5-10, W

Gainesville Hurricanes

Coach: Kelly Beckham, 6th season at GHS, 32nd overall (635-235)

District: 2-6A

2013 record: 21-10 (state semifinals)

Current record: 3-1

Returning starters: Kevin Bolen, Sr., C, 6-5, 12.0 ppg.; Ike Smith, Jr., F, 10.0 ppg.

Other expected contributors: Mark McGraw, Sr., 6-4, 4.2 ppg.; Rudy Bibb-Boyd, So., 6-0, 2.2 ppg.; Ronte Oates, So., 6-3, 3.1 ppg.

Hawthorne Hornets

Coach: Greg Bowie, seventh season (116-49)

District: 6-1A

2013 record: 28-2 (state semifinals)

Current record: 3-0

Returning starters: None

Other expected contributors: Deandre Turner, Sr., G, 5-10, 4.0 ppg.; Charlie Thomas, Sr., G, 5-8, 5.0 ppg.; Tony Ivey, Sr., F, 5-10, 4.0 ppg.; Dionte Mann, Jr., F, 5-11, 7.0 ppg.; Keldric Bradley, Jr., G, 6-1, 10.0 ppg. (last year at Union County); Staffony Douglas, Jr., G, 5-9

Lafayette Hornets

Coach: Daryl Fletcher, 9th season (15-36)

District: 5-1A

2013 record: 7-17

Current record: 0-3

Returning starters: Brycen Lee, Jr., 6-4; Timothy Fleming, Jr., 6-2; Christian Moody, So., 6-1; Ivan Carlos, Jr., 5-10; Noah Leake, Jr., 6-4

Other expected contributors: Micah Byrd, So., 6-1; Gabe Mercedes, 8th grade, 6-0; Jordan Johnson, Fr., 5-10

Newberry Panthers

Coach: James Akins, first season

District: 7-1A

2013 record: 3-18

Current record: 2-1

Returning starters: Monte Seabrook, Sr., G, 6-0; Al Barber, Sr., G/F, 6-2; Bobbie Smith-Hamilton, Sr., G, 5-9; Jimmy McCoy, Sr., F, 5-9

Other expected contributors: Marquis Nelson, Jr., G, 5-10; Carlton Franklin, Sr., G, 5-11; Dejwon Howard, Jr., G/F, 6-2; Brandon Gunter, Jr., F, 5-10

Oak Hall

Coach: Edwin McTureous, eighth season (79-79)

District: 3-3A

2013 record: 7-14

Current record: 2-1

Returning starters: Trevor Pope, Jr., F, 9.3 ppg.; Cody Blair, Sr., F, 5.3 ppg.; Matt Euliano, Jr., G, 4.4 ppg.; Zack Beauchamp, Jr., PG, 5.4 ppg.; Ben Nelson, Jr., G

P.K. Yonge Blue Wave

Coach: Billy Blackmon, first season

District: 5-4A

2013 record: 14-12 (regional quarterfinals)

Current record: 2-2

Returning starters: Stephen Brown, Jr., F, 6-1, 9.5 ppg.; Anthony Andrews, Sr., G, 5-9, 5.0 ppg.; Jarvis Roberts, So., F, 6-2, 5.7 ppg.; Decker Herring, So., G, 6-0, 4.2 ppg.

Other expected contributors: Tamarick Vanover, Sr., G, 5-10; Jonas Walker, Jr., G, 5-10; Fred Carmen, Jr., G, 6-0; Rayjhan Leath, Fr., G, 5-10

St. Francis Wolves

Coach: Brian Shea, 2nd season

District: 3-3A

2013 record: 24-5 (regional semifinals)

Current record: 3-1

Returning starters: None

Other expected contributors: Ian Daniels, Sr., G, 5-8; Mark Canfield, Sr., 6-1; Mo Fanous, Sr., C, 6-2; Horace Mitchell, Jr., 5-11; John Fradella, Jr., G, 6-0; Christian Fallo, Jr., 6-3; Michael Brown, So., G, 5-9; Bryan Donovan, So., G, 6-0

Santa Fe Raiders

Coach: Elliot Harris

District: 5-4A

2013 record: 10-17

Current record: 1-0

Returning starters: Marcus Archer, Sr., G, 6-1; Denarius Harris, Sr., G, 6-1; Kham Taylor, So., C, 6-5

Other expected contributors: Brandon Mayes, So., G, 6-2; Neeko Gainey, So., F, 6-4; Natron Curtis, Jr., PG, 5-8; Dylan Townsend, G, 5-11

Suwannee Bulldogs

Coach: Jeremy Ulmer, 4th season

District: 2-5A

2013 record: 19-7 (regional semifinals)

Current record: 0-0

Returning starters: Kevarrius Haynes, Jr., C, 6-9 (UF commit); Aaron McAllister, So., SF/W, 6-0

Other expected contributors: Blake Ulmer, So., SF/W, 6-3; Jamari Wheeler, Fr., G, 6-0; Steven Anderson, Fr., PF, 6-3

The Rock Lions

Coach: Justin Harden, fifth season (103-38)

Association: Sunshine Independent Athletic Association

2013 record: 33-4 (SIAA state champions)

Current record: 4-0

Returning starters: Mitchell Wilbekin, Sr., G, 6-1, 10.0 ppg. (Tulsa signee); Pape Diatta, Sr., F, 6-7, 7.3 ppg.

Other expected contributors: Austin Harrell, Sr., G, 6-3, 3.4 ppg.; DeVaughn Jenkins, Sr., F, 6-7, 3.1 ppg.; Frederik Benzon, Jr., G, 6-2; Troy Baxter, So., F, 6-7; Andrew Wilbekin, So., G, 6-0

Trenton Tigers

Coach: Patrick Green

District: 6-1A

2013 record: 12-14

Current record: 0-3

Returning starters: Nicholas Higginbotham, Sr., C, 6-5, 7.0 rpg.; Jacquez Powell, Sr., G, 5-8, 6.0 ppg.; Hamp Cheevers, So., G, 5-10, 20.0 ppg.

Other expected contributors: Tyler Sauls, Sr., F, 6-0; Kade Rogers, So., F, 6-0; Josh Mathis, Fr., C, 5-10; Melvin Adams, Sr., G, 5-10; Michael Smith, Fr., G, 5-10

Union County Tigers

Coach: Rufus Jefferson, fifth season

District: 7-1A

2013 record: 17-13 (state semifinals)

Current record: 1-0

Returning starters: Geordyn Green, Sr., PG, 5-7; Daquin Edwards, Sr., F, 6-2; Austin Dukes, Sr., F, 6-2; Princeton Alexander, Sr., G/F, 6-0

Other expected contributors: Kyle Mosher, Sr., F, 6-0; Trey Spitze, Jr., G, 5-10

Williston Red Devils

Coach: Steve Faulkner, fifth season

District: 7-1A

2013 record: 23-8 (Class 4A regional finalists)

Current record: 2-0

Returning starters: Earl Brown, Sr., F, 6-8, 14.4 ppg.; Alex Porter, Sr., F, 6-5, 8.0 ppg.

Other expected contributors: Dimarkis Robinson, Sr., F, 6-1, 2.0 ppg.; D'onte King; Devon Webb

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