MOORE — Serithia Hawkins is quiet. Whether she is on the court or off, the Southmoore forward doesn’t seem to say much.
However, when Hawkins is on the court, her play can speak volumes. That included Thursday night when she led the fourth-ranked SaberCats to a 68-46 win over Lawton in the first round of the John Noble Invitational Tournament at Moore High.
Hawkins ended the night with 12 points and 15 boards as she decimated the Wolverines’ front line with her work on the boards.
“Rebounding is very big,” Hawkins said. “We normally score off rebounds and putbacks. It helps us speed up the tempo of the game.”
As a team, the SaberCats out-rebounded the Wolverines 39-27. Coach Britney Kannady-Sayes knows how important controlling the backboards are to her team’s success.
“Rebounding is key for us,” Kannady-Sayes said. “Especially since we are kind of in a shooting slump from the other the night. I think we got out of it and I told my kids to rebound until we score. We get a lot of points from that, so we are going to continue to do that.”
Southmoore didn’t give Lawton a chance to breathe when the game started. Cyndia Campbell and Kayla Tucker pressured the LHS backcourt and forced them into multiple turnovers. The Cats turned those miscues into easy fastbreak points and took a 19-4 advantage in the first quarter.
As they normally do, the SaberCats used their inside game to pound the Wolverines. Kyeria Hannah and Hawkins were able to get any shot they wanted within five feet of the basket, and Lawton was unable to do anything about it.
Southmoore strolled into halftime with a 37-22 lead. The Cats pulled away in the third and coasted in for the win.
Tucker led all scorers with 15 points. Campbell added 13.