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Dream, career end for Aleshire

March 10, 1997

By BOB PARASILITI

Staff Writer

Heather Aleshire spends most of her days chasing a dream. That's probably what made it so tough to deal with reality.

Aleshire came to Hagerstown Junior College two years ago to prove that she was a top-flight women's basketball player, deserving of an NCAA Division I scholarship.

Mission accomplished but Aleshire was jolted out of dreamland on Sunday. When the final buzzer sounded ending HJC's 76-62 loss to Frederick Community College for the Region XX women's basketball championship, Aleshire's fantasy, season and career with the Hawks was over.

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It was an unfitting ending for the woman who had become the most prolific scorer in HJC history. After fouling out with 1:12 remaining, Aleshire was in the only position that she was unable to score from - on the bench. Reality was so disappointing, it became funny.

"I was just so mad and frustrated, I didn't know what to do," said Aleshire, a Clear Spring High School graduate. "All I could do is sit there and smile."

She sat back in her chair on the sideline and looked up at the scoreboard and then away from the floor with a sarcastic laugh. Then when teammate Toni DeStefano fouled out and sat next to her 31 seconds later, the laughter wasn't as easy - looks of distress and tears followed.

After more than 4,000 points in a six-year tenure between Clear Spring High and HJC, Sunday was Aleshire's last game on Washington County soil.

"I've felt fortunate to have Heather play for us for the last two years," HJC coach Marlys Palmer said. "She didn't have to because she had other options, but she wanted to prove her detractors wrong and prove she was Division I college material. She did that. She has received more Division I offers than any other female athlete who has ever played here and set all of our scoring records. It's been an incredible two years."

Aleshire choked back the final tears of disappointment from Sunday's game to consider the future.

"I'm glad I came here," Aleshire said. "It opened up so many doors. Before, I didn't have any Division I offers, now I have whichever one I want to pick. It's sad and I'll miss playing here, but I'm ready to go to the higher ground."

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