By BOB PARASILITI
Robert Gregory is the closest thing the Hagerstown Junior College basketball team has to the Automobile Club.
The Hawks have taken many twists and turns during the 1997-98 season, but Gregory's job has been to guide the freshmen-laden team in the right direction and give it the needed jumpstart when it started to sputter.
That "roadside service" attitude was something new for Gregory to learn as the team's only returning sophomore. He was forced to understand there was more to basketball than scoring. He became one of the main reasons HJC changed from a near-.500 team to one with a 22-8 record and second seed in this weekend's Region XX tournament.
"I know this could possibly be it (as an HJC player)," Gregory said. "I just want to go out and light a spark for this team. I think we've surprised a lot of people with the way we have played. We had a slow start because we had a lot of young players and a lot of players from last year who didn't come back. People expected us to be around .500 for the year but we came on strong."