The Hardin-Jefferson girls' basketball team is reliving the glory days of the mid-’80's when the Lady Hawks went to four state tournaments in seven years.
Under legendary coach Bruce Vaughn Hardin-Jefferson won 3A titles in ’86 and ’89, were finalist in ’88 and made the semifinals in 1984.
Vaughn would lead the Lady Hawks back to the semifinals in 1991 and would not return again until 2001 under new coach Carol Vaughn, the year current Lady Hawks superstar Tunisha Strong was born.
Sixth-year coach Mike Fogo has this year's team primed for another historic run as they take on the Argyle Eagles Friday night in the 4A state semifinals in San Antonio.
“It has been fun to watch this team this year,” said Fogo. “The girls really do not care who they are playing. They just worry about doing their thing.”
With their regional final win over Fairfield last Saturday, the Lady Hawks have their swagger back from the days of parachute pants and hair bands.
Leading the way is the All-World Strong, a senior post who was the Beaumont area player of the year in 2018. Newcomer Ashlon Jackson is a dynamic freshman guard, who scored 13 points in the win over Fairfield and is rated as one of the top freshmen in the nation.
Delberta Guillory-Smith, a junior wing, is the third piece who brings added athleticism and scoring.
Depth will be the key to winning this weekend and Asia Wheeler (2020), Rylee Wirth (2021) and Makenna Henry (2021) will all be asked to perform at high levels.
“Asia has had to handle a lot of the tough work against presses and usually defends the opposing teams best perimeter player,” said Fogo. “Rylee shuts down the post and has allowed Tunisha to be more effective at both ends. Makenna provides scoring punch and has been a huge asset on defense.”
With their talented core of young players, the Lady Hawks can begin a new dynasty that will harken back to Poison’s “Nothing but a Good Time” of 1988.
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Hardin-Jefferson Lady Hawks vs Burnett Lady Bulldogs
Friday, March 1st, 1:30pm
San Antonio Alamodome