HCC zips past Express

January 14, 1999|By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

Howard coach Gary Hale was hoping the Hagerstown Community College women's basketball team was looking past their game with the Express and pointing toward a key matchup with Potomac State at the end of the week.

Unfortunately, the Hawks remembered the Express was in town.

Behind Molly Schoenberg's 16 points, Hagerstown (10-3, 7-1) blew out Howard 105-31 while shooting a blistering 54 percent from the floor. Schoenberg hit 80 percent of her shots and every Hawk was able to break into the scorebook.

Shay Bailey had 14 points, while freshman Tia Ferguson, a North Hagerstown graduate, threw in 12 points and pulled down nine rebounds.

And while coach Marlys Palmer was cautiously optimistic, she felt her team accomplished some good things even though the challenge wasn't there.


"You need to have a few of those type of games every once in a while," Palmer said. "I have got to hand it to those Howard kids ... they hung in there."

And, Howard "hung" against what would quickly prove to be overwhelming odds. The Express seemed virtually defenseless against the bigger and faster Hawks early in the game. Six trips down the floor netted two turnovers on time and zero shots. And while Express guard Sara Pierson (19 points) was able to hit a long two-pointer with just over four minutes gone to finally put Howard on the board, the Hawks, behind Bailey's dominating performance in the paint, rolled to a 25-2 lead.

Howard continued to struggle against the HCC, even as Palmer relaxed the defense. Without a true ball handling guard, the Express haplessly labored down the floor as if breast stroking through molten steel. But, their determination struck a chord with Palmer.

"I know exactly what they are going through," Palmer said of the Howard that has become a JuCo bottom feeder as of late. "That team looks very similar to my first team here at HCC. You just have to keep improving and getting better players."

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