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Allegany flexes muscles

March 03, 1997

By BOB PARASILITI

Staff Writer

Allegany College simply separated the men from the boys on Sunday.

The Trojans showed the difference a year can make in a team. One more year of experience. One more year of growth. One more year of success.

Allegany, featuring seven sophomores on its roster, took the measure of Hagerstown Junior College's kiddie corps of eight freshmen for an 82-66 victory and the Region XX tournament title at HJC's athletic complex.

"The second half was inevitable," HJC coach Jim Brown said. "We didn't rebound and their maturity took over. That team is physically stronger and more experienced than we are. Our freshman immaturity showed in the second half."

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The Trojans entered this season on a mission. They were last year's national runners-up and had the majority of that team returning. Allegany, the nation's top-rated junior college team, enhanced its strength by adding sophomore big men Quincy Guase and Terrell McKelvy to the mix to remain ranked in the top two all season.

HJC, on the other hand, rebuilt from scratch. The Hawks cleared house and brought in a new cast. Robert Gregory was the only sophomore holdover from last season.

Youthful exuberance lifted HJC to a 33-29 halftime lead, but Allegany called on all its strength and confidence to take control in the second half.

First, Allegany overcame the four-point halftime deficit with a 12-2 rally.

"That's where they took charge ... in the beginning of the second half," Brown said. "That 12-2 run put them in the position to control the game. We were always fighting from behind and that's where their maturity factor took over."

Then, the Trojans put the game away by totally controlling the backboards. Allegany outmuscled HJC, 61-31, on the backboards, including a 35-16 edge in the second half.

"We tried our best against them, but they are so big and strong - even at point guard," HJC center Devon Wade said. "They overpowered us. That's how they got to be No. 1 in the nation. We just have to take our hats off to them."

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