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HJC women win big

January 22, 1997

By CURT HORNBECKER

Staff Correspondent

It was easy for the Hagerstown Junior College women's basketball team to get the ball to the player with the hot hand Wednesday night.

That's because everybody had a hot hand.

The Lady Hawks rode 61 percent first-half shooting to their fourth straight win, 98-76, over Potomac State at the HJC athletic complex.

The trio of Heather Aleshire, Toni DeStefano and Kim Reid combined for 40 of the Hawks' 56 first-half points, hitting 18 of 27 shots, including three of five from 3-point range.

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"I thought we shot the ball really well," said HJC coach Marlys Palmer. "We talked about that at halftime. In terms of execution, we played very well offensively.

"But I didn't think we played very good half-court defense," Palmer added. "When we get that piece together, that's about all we can ask for."

HJC (11-6) didn't need much defense against the Lady Catamounts, with Aleshire hitting from the outside and slashing to the bucket, Destefano canning the 3s, and Reid coming off the bench to provide an inside threat.

"Kim Reid has made a big difference with this ball club since she came around," said Palmer. "She gives us an inside presence."

"Coach has been trying to tell us to start using our inside game more," Reid said. "And the guards are trying to get the ball inside more. They did a great job doing that tonight."

The Hawks outscored Potomac State 16-3 within a three-minute span early in the first half, for a 22-10 advantage. Reid then scored 10 of her 16 points within seven minutes before Aleshire and DeStefano spearheaded an 11-0 run to carry HJC to a 56-34 lead at the half.

A 21-5 rally by the Catamounts (8-4) early in the second half closed the gap to 68-57, but Aleshire, DeStefano and Reid combined for 15 of the game's next 19 points.

"It's hard to beat a team when they're shooting that well, unless you're shooting that well, too," said Palmer. "And that kind of shooting percentage doesn't come around very often."

Aleshire led HJC with 29 points and 13 rebounds, while Destefano added 24 (including 5 of 6 from beyond the arc) and seven assists. Reid added 16 points, and Carrie Craft had 11.

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