Three minutes into Surrattsville High School’s Class 1A South Region semifinal game against Forestville, Hornets’ leading scorer Jasmine Hill had two personal fouls, one technical and zero points.
It wasn’t the ideal start for Hill, who earned the technical when she slammed the ball to the ground after her second foul.
“It frustrated me a little bit. I kind of showed my emotion,” she said.
But it didn’t take for Hill to regroup. After the technical, Surrattsville’s senior guard scored seven first-quarter points and finished with a game-high 23 to lead the Hornets (11-11) to a 49-26 victory against the Knights (9-12) on Wednesday night in Forestville.
“I just had to realize that a good player doesn’t think about the stuff she can’t control,” Hill said. “Once I realized it was out of my control, I decided that I had to just play. I let everything else go and just played.”
The Hornets led 23-13 at halftime and Hill’s eight-point fourth quarter put the game out of reach.
“We did a decent job, but Jasmine is Jasmine,” Forestville coach Vincent McDuffie said.
The Knights had difficulty scoring against the Hornets’ zone defense and put up single-digit totals in each quarter.
“We just didn’t execute the way we should have,” McDuffie said. “Had we shown up offensively, I think we could have balanced it out and it would have been a little different.”
Surrattsville freshmen Caniya Buckner and Tayonna Edmondson scored seven apiece. Senior Janay Nelson helped take the pressure off Hill and scored three points as the Hornets’ secondary ball-handler.
Junior Tierra Hawkins led the Knights with 13 points and junior Martasia Brown added eight.
The teams split the regular season series. Hill sat out with an injury in Forestville’s victory.
“When we won the first time, we played a lot harder, we hustled more. But when we played them the second time, we lacked those things,” Hill said
Surrattsville advances to face a familiar foe, possibly for the last time, in the region finals, Dunbar. The Poets defeated the Hornets in the previous two region championship games. Dunbar is scheduled to move up to Class 2A next year.
“This time, I think we got them,” Hill said.
“This has been an emotional roller coaster from the start,” Surrattsville coach Tynisha Payton said. “But like I told the girls, and I’ll keep saying it, they have to believe just like I believe, that they can conquer the world.”
McDuffie said he will take a break from the sidelines next season. He has been coaching varsity basketball since 1993.
Surrattsville 49, Forestville 26
Surrattsville (11-11) 12 11 12 14 — 49
Forestville (9-12) 5 8 6 7 — 26
Surrattsville — Jasmine Hill 23; Caniya Buckner 7; Tayonna Edmondson 7; Shanel Edwards 6; Loreal Bledsoe 3; Janay Nelson 3.
Forestville — Tierra Hawkins 13; Martasia Brown 8; Alexis Brown 4; Emane’ Boyd 1.