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Innovative Hawks handle Prince George's

January 09, 1997

By CURT HORNBECKER

Staff Correspondent

While the Hagerstown Junior College basketball team continues to be plagued by personnel problems, coach Jim Brown continues to come up with innovative ways to win.

With forwards James Stokes academically ineligible, and Chris Jones suspended after being whistled with a double technical foul in Monday's game, the Hawks started the game with a four-guard offense, and even went with five guards late in the second half.

Brown even had some defensive ideas he didn't get the opportunity to use in HJC's 69-58 Maryland JUCO win over Prince Georg'es Community College Wednesday night.

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"I didn't get to do what I wanted to do in the second half," said the Hawks' coach. "We had all kinds of things we wanted to do, we just couldn't get in synch enough to do it. We had to stay with our basic man-to-man."

With the score tied 17-17, HJC's Brian Samuels sparked an 18-5 run to give the Hawks (10-6, 4-1) a lead they never relinquished. The Hawks point guard scored all seven of his points in the last 2:07 of the half, including seven of the last nine HJC points.

Devon Wade, who finished with 25 points and 20 rebounds, contributed 14 points in the half.

"We needed somebody to get us going, because we weren't getting a lot of fast break points," Samuels said. "I figured I had to break my man down, so that's what I did."

HJC's lead gradually grew to 20 points midway through the second period before the Owls (7-6, 5-2) responded with nine unanswered points despite 6-foot-10 center Stephen Bami sitting with four fouls, to close the gap to 56-45. Six of those points came from penetrating layups, forcing Brown to go to a five-guard lineup, which gave Wade an opportunity to take a break.

The rest apparently helped, as the HJC forward scored eight of his 13 second-half points in the final 4:05 to ice the win.

Not only were many of HJC's players forced to play different positions, but the personnel changes necessitated a completely different style of play for the Hawks.

"It's a different style of ball than we're used to playing," said Brown. "We had to make some adjustments, but we're doing fairly well right now."

Ryan Saunders chipped in with 10 points for HJC.

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