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Allegany edges HJC in OT

January 16, 1997

By BOB PARASILITI

Staff Writer

Allegany College coach Bob Kirk put it in about as general of terms as basketball can be explained.

"There's a lot of ifs, ands and buts that end up deciding games like this," he said.

Make that ifs, ands, buts and foul shots.

Hagerstown Junior College played an inspired game considering its shortcomings. But despite all the effort and stifling defense, the Hawks let one get away on Wednesday night, allowing No. 3-rated Allegany to tie the game at the buzzer before pulling out a 98-94 overtime victory at the HJC athletic complex.

"We lost this game. They didn't beat us, we lost it," HJC coach Jim Brown said. "All we needed was one of those free throws (at the end of regulation) and then they would have needed two buckets to win with no time to score. We had the No. 3-rated team in the country in our hip pocket and we let them get away."

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The Hawks (14-6) totally controlled the tempo, slowing Allegany's high-powered offense to a near crawl. HJC contested every shot and used quick hands to slow Allegany's moves to the basket. All this from an HJC team with just nine active players.

"That's a lot different tempo than Hagerstown is used to playing," Kirk said. "They did a lot to control of the tempo with their dribble penetration. Even though we made a lot of mistakes tonight, our guys all hung together in the end."

HJC came back from 10-point deficit in the first half and played through nine ties to hold a 77-74 lead when DeWayne Jacobs scored on a layup with 25 seconds remaining. The Hawks forced a turnover but failed to capitalize when Brian Samuels missed the front of a one-and-one foul shooting situation with 15 seconds left. Still Devon Wade got an offensive rebound and passed to Robert Gregory, who was fouled with five seconds later. He missed both shots.

Allegany (17-1) forced the overtime when Mike Renfro canned a 30-foot 3-point shot at the buzzer on an out-of-bounds play with four seconds remaining.

"I have to give them credit," Brown said. "Renfro showed the caliber athlete he is with that shot. He doesn't do things like that once a season, he does it all the time."

Allegany secured its 15th straight win by taking advantage when Wade fouled out with the game tied at 87 with 2:23 remaining in overtime. Renfro hit the first of two foul shots and Quincy Gause rebounded the miss to give the Trojans a 90-87 lead. Allegany built a 94-89 lead with 34 seconds remaining and hung on for the victory.

Wade led all scorers with 21 points and 12 rebounds and Ryan Saunders came off the bench to score 19 for the Hawks. Michael Horton topped Allegany with 20 points.

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