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Balance leads HJC women to win

February 02, 1997

By BOB PARASILITI

Staff Writer

Heather Aleshire has been the real McCoy for the Hagerstown Junior College women's basketball team this season.

On Saturday, she became the real decoy.

Frederick Community College tried to take the nation's second-leading scorer out of the HJC offense, but the rest of the Hawks admirably filled the void in a 74-64 victory at the HJC athletic complex.

The Cougars were able to shut Aleshire out for a 16:07 span in the middle of the game, but HJC was able to maintain at least a six-point lead during the stretch.

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"I felt like they were trying to take Heather out of the game," HJC coach Marlys Palmer said. "We tried to capitalize on that by putting Heather here and there on the floor to open things up. It was truly a total team effort."

The effort added up to HJC's first victory over Frederick since 1992.

The Hawks' success started with the inside play of Kim Reid and the hot hand of Carrie Craft. Aleshire managed 24 points -three under her season average - but Reid's 14 and Craft's 12 quickly took Frederick's attention away from Aleshire.

"It wasn't that we were trying to stop Aleshire," Frederick coach Jack Mehl said. "They shot 61 percent against us in the first half. When a team shoots over 60 percent, it puts a lot of pressure on you."

Aleshire hit a 3-pointer with 6:47 remaining in the half to stake HJC (16-6, 10-1 Md. JuCo) to a 31-25 lead. HJC turned to the bench to close the first half and pulled out to a 43-31 lead.

"I thought at the end of the first half, we did a great job with Marissa Hardy, Tracy Bishop and Georgette Palmer in there," Palmer said. "Kim Reid had a heck of a game."

Frederick scored the first five points of the second half, but HJC countered with a seven-point run. Reid scored four points in the spurt.

The Cougars cut the deficit to 50-44, but that's when Frederick's hold over Aleshire wore off.

Craft hit an 18-footer and Aleshire followed with five straight points to give the Hawks a 57-44 lead. Frederick only got as close as eight points the rest of the game.

"We had a lot of almosts," Mehl said. "We had a lot of shots come out in the first half. It's the same old thing. (HJC) did a good job on the defensive boards where we only would get one shot. We missed a lot of inside shots, so that puts a lot of pressure on the outside."

Angie Levarto kept Frederick in the game with her long-range shooting, finishing with 17 points. Judy Whims added 12.

For HJC, Reid had 11 rebounds and Tana McGee dished out nine assists.

"We tried some things today," Palmer said. "(Mehl) has a good club so we tried to take some time off the clock and it worked. The big key was that things came to us at the right time and it all worked."

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