Hawthorne Bears Move On to the Semis!


Brendan Knepper and Sean Gordon


The Hawthorne Bears Boys Basketball Team has placed number 2 in the state tournament.

Hawthorne finished their regular season 19-6. They also went 16-0 in their Conference division. The Bears beat teams such as Glen Rock and Rutherford. TJ Palmer scored his 1,000th point against Elmwood Park, the second Hawthorne Bear to ever reach that milestone. TJ’s shot was a 3 pointer and assisted by his younger brother Jalen Palmer. Hawthorne has had a great season with great players and fantastic coaching by Mr.Ward.

In the first round of the state tournament, the Hawthorne Bears went against Morris Tech at home. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 10-6. Then at halftime the score was 30-23. Both teams were playing aggressive and were ready to take that energy with them to the next half. By the end of the 3rd quarter, the score became 46-45. Hawthorne was in trouble and their lead was cut down to 1. In the 4th quarter, Hawthorne scored 26 points to Morris Tech’s 10. The final score was 72 to 55, with the Bears advancing to play against Dumont. TJ Palmer had 27 points and Miguel Melendez scored 19 points. Shane Rooney also scored 10 points and Gio Morell scored 13.  

In the quarterfinal round, the Bears were able to defeat Dumont High School 63-48. Gio Morell was the leading scorer for the Bears with 22 points. TJ Palmer added a solid 20 points and Miguel Melendez added another 10. The game was tied at 16 at the end of the first quarter. It was a close game at halftime with a score of 30-28. The Bears were able to hold Dumont to just 7 points in the third quarter. This gave the Hawthorne a huge boost going into the fourth. The Bears exploded in the fourth quarter, scoring 22 points and holding Dumont to 13 points. The Bears showed an amazing effort on both sides of the ball. The defense looked superb and the offense was excellent.

On Friday, March 1, the Bears will play against Mountain Lakes at home. Hawthorne is a tough and aggressive basketball team that is very fun to watch.