HJC earns rematch with Allegany

March 02, 1997


Staff Writer

It took 20 seconds of rest Saturday night to make 40 minutes of work pay off for the Hagerstown Junior College men's basketball team.

The Hawks used a 20-second timeout six minutes into the game and it ignited a 25-10 run in a 104-87 victory over Mount Aloysius in the semifinals of the Region XX Division I tournament at the HJC athletic complex.

Hawks coach Jim Brown signaled for the break as the Hawks fell behind 12-6 with 14:11 remaining in the half. Over the next 7:20, HJC turned the deficit into a 31-22 lead.


"They definitely had the momentum and those 20-second timeouts sometimes are the best thing to change the tempo," Brown said. "It just gives the hot team a rest. We were taking too many 3s and weren't dribble-penetrating the ball at that time."

The quick-change act moves HJC (23-8) into today's much anticipated region final with Allegany College, the nation's No. 1-ranked junior college team.

The game begins at 4 p.m., and the winner advances to next week's district playoff in Champlain, Vt.

"This is one of the greatest things that can happen to a team - to play for the region title," Brown said. "It all comes down to this. Allegany called and told us they are bringing 2,000 fans and if we could do the same, this will be one of the greatest days we'll have ever had since this place opened nine years ago."

HJC got the chance to play Allegany, a team it has lost to twice this season, because it was able to slip into a full-court press after the timeout. The Hawks got the tempo to their liking and took the game from the Mounties (23-7).

"We felt really confident early," said Devon Wade, who led HJC with 25 points. "It was just a matter of time. All the timeout did was help us screw our heads on. We were a little excited coming into this game and the timeout allowed us to take a gut check and ask ourselves if we wanted to play Allegany again."

HJC maintained its lead for a 45-37 advantage at the half. Wade scored 10 points in the first five minutes of the second half to move the Hawks to a 61-49 lead. HJC's lead grew to as many as 23 points in the second half.

"The difference at the half was when Eddie Hampton came into the locker room," Wade said. "He's been injured and hasn't played all year, but he's a sophomore. He challenged our hearts and it made the difference."

Isaac King led Mount Aloysius with 24 points.

James Morse added 21 points, including five 3-pointers, and Chris Jones scored 11 for the Hawks. Wade finished with 16 rebounds.

"This will be the biggest game of our career," Wade said of today's meeting with Allegany. "We are going to put it all on the line. If this was life or death, we're planning to die on the court."

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