Hawthorne continues rolling toward league title | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Hawthorne continues rolling toward league title

Chad Sellmer, Tribune staff writer

Hawthorne star senior Sidney Orndorff receives tight defensive pressure from Whittell's Ariana Rodriguez, right, during a Northern 2A Regional girls' basketball tournament game Thursday in Dayton.

DAYTON — The Hawthorne High School girls’ basketball team continued rolling toward its fourth consecutive Nevada state title with a 73-24 thumping of Whittell in the first round of the Northern 2A playoffs Thursday night at Dayton High School.

The Serpents’ stunning duo of Sidney Orndorff and Delicia Jernigan combined for 41 of the team’s 73 points. The two seniors are headed off to play Division 1 college basketball next year. They are seeking their fourth straight state title after first winning it as freshmen. In conference play, the Serpents are an incredible 70-0 over the past four years.

“This was about what I expected,” said an understandably frustrated Whittell head coach Lindsay Wines. “There were times when we just didn’t get back quickly enough on defense and they should learn that the first time, not the 10th time.”

Whittell lost its two regular-season games against the Serpents by a combined 122 points.

Things started off rough for the Warriors and didn’t get any easier until the closing minutes, when the Warriors’ offense finally started to click.

Hawthorne’s Jami Harris, a senior, scored an easy bucket to open the game, followed by two quick Hawthorne steals to run the score to 7-0 at the 5:24 mark in the first quarter.

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Whittell sophomore Anna Kingman was first on the board for the Warriors, hitting a foul shot at the 4:09 mark to make it 10-1. The score was 26-4 at the end of the first quarter, thanks in large part to Orndorff and Jernigan, who fought for every loose ball and even took some right out of the Warriors’ hands.

Hawthorne’s Harris, a transfer from Montana, opened the scoring in the second quarter with an uncontested basket in the paint.

Both teams freely substituted players in the second quarter, with Orndorff and Jernigan sitting out until the 6:08 mark in the second period. Even so, Hawthorne went into the half with a 46-8 lead.

Coming out to open the second half, Orndorff and Jernigan not only contributed the bulk of their team’s offense, but also played magnificently on the defensive end, getting blocks, steals and rebounds and opening up the floor for their teammates to score. The two even displayed some razzle-dazzle, with behind-the-back passing and alley-oops that kept the Warriors guessing.

The Serpents led 56-19 at the end of the third quarter.

One bright spot for the Warriors came in the fourth quarter, when senior Marie Peterson blocked Orndorff’s shot under the basket and took the rebound. Another came with Ashley Wines’ 3-pointer with 1:35 left to make the score 69-24.

“It wasn’t too bad,” said Hawthorne head coach Dave Gelmstedt of his team’s performance. “We played in spurts.

“We had a lot more fouls than we should have. That was the biggest thing. We had girls with three and four fouls who usually don’t get any.”

Wines said she was particularly impressed by the play of Katrina Kacierk, who was called up from junior varsity just before the playoff game and ended the night as the Warriors’ leading scorer.

“The brightest spot of the game was (Kacierk),” Wines said. “She had an awesome game (and) Marie did a nice job on the boards.”

Hawthorne plays Lovelock on Friday night at Dayton High School in the quarterfinals of the zone tournament, beginning at 6:10 p.m. Whittell finishes 5-19.