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One of the (tom) boys

Hewett takes family points lead, pointers from mom

Hewett takes family points lead, pointers from mom

March 04, 2007|by TIM KOELBLE

BOONSBORO - Tina Hamrick grew up as a self-described tomboy.

She hung around with boys, played their games and even became Frederick County's first female drummer while attending Frederick High School.

Her favorite outlet in high school, though, was playing girls basketball. She did so creditably, scoring 804 points in her career at Frederick before she graduated in 1978.

Little did she know her point total would eventually be ranked second on her family's scoring list. It happened 29 years and two daughters later.

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Later as Tina Hewett, she delivered two daughters - Brittany in 1986 and Jerica in 1989. Brittany is a junior at Shepherd University while Jerica is finishing up her high school basketball career at Boonsboro before taking her talents to Shepherd under scholarship next fall.

Jerica became Boonsboro's all-time girls scoring leader with 1,020 points late this season. Then, she went on to eclipse the school's overall individual scoring mark when she passed the mark of 1,136 points set by Eddie Penn from 1977-80.

As the Warriors get ready for tonight's Maryland Class 1A West championship game against Southern Garrett at Fort Hill, Jerica Hewett's career total stands at 1,180 points, giving mom and daughter a combined household total of 1,984 points.

"Brittany was more of a quiet little doll growing up," said Tina Hewett. "But, when Jerica was born, my dad (Richard) told me 'God is paying you back with this one.'"

Jerica fit the mold chisled by her mother. She, too, was a tomboy.

"By age 6, I knew I was a tomboy," said Jerica. "At daycare, I'd play with the boys, help them build stuff and I'd always be helping my dad (Allen) do physical work and then go ride dirt bikes and 4-wheelers and go fishing."

Tina Hewett saw a little of herself in the development of her youngest daughter.

"I was doing the same things that Jerica was doing and I can remember when I was 8 years old, I got a Baltimore Colts helmet and jersey for Christmas," she said.

"When I was in school, basketball was something you played to have something to do. You didn't think about how many points you scored, the game was not nearly as physical like it is now and I didn't have the opportunities to do during the offseason like it is now."

Jerica's No. 1 sport was rapidly becoming basketball. Her parents provided her opportunities to succeed. Allen even constructed a basketball court at home.

Jerica made her Boonsboro varsity debut as a freshman, starting on Dec. 9, 2003 and scoring 12 points in a season-opening 60-33 loss to Liberty. Even Brittany, who was on the varsity, accepted her role as a backup when Jerica debuted.

"Brittany became Jerica's biggest cheerleader and still is," said Tina Hewett.

Through Thursday's East Section win over Williamsport, Hewett has been a major reason the Warriors are 68-26 during her career.

"I was so excited in that first game and it was so much more physical than I thought it would be," said Jerica. "I remember getting nailed once and just laid on the floor."

Now, she is accustomed to the bumps, bruises, scrapes and sprains. She accepts them and keeps on performing. She is widely recognized as the unselfish team leader, caring as much about steals, assists and rebounds, many times more than scoring.

To reach that point though, Jerica and her mother agree that she needed an attitude adjustment.

"I thought I was 'everything' in ninth grade and in 10th and 11th it was like 'don't talk to me.' I was (a brat)," said Jerica.

She credits her father defining her new attidude by adopting a quote from the Spider-Man movie, "With great power comes great responsibility."

As her persona changed, Jerica also credits Zach Shoemaker with a turnaround. Shoemaker, an outstanding athlete at Boonsboro, was one year ahead of Jerica and the two were dating.

"(Zach) was a role model for me and he got me to respect people, to push myself to get good grades," said Jerica, who has reached the Distinguished Honor Roll.

Max Shaffer, who became Jerica's coach starting her sophomore season, has coached girls for 15 years.

"One player I had went to Virginia Commonwealth and another to Lafayette, and Jerica is in the top 5 I have coached," he said. "When it comes to basketball overall, she might be the best ... steals, assists, great defense, not selfish. When I came here (Williamsport coach) Chris Malott told me 'Wait 'til you see the Hewett girl.'"

The Hewetts, and the rest of the Boonsboro contingent, aren't quite ready to put the wraps on a season, much less Jerica.

"My high school career won't be a complete success unless we win the state," said Jerica. "It's been my goal since eighth grade and the only thing on my list to do."

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