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Hawks send Potomac down river

January 16, 1999

BY BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

The Hagerstown Community College women's basketball team was stuck dealing with many little details before it was able to tackle its "biggest challenge."

Before the Hawks could meet Potomac State on Friday, there were little matters to overcome - poor weather, a cancelled practice and only one official showing up for the game.

But with all the annoyances behind them, the Hawks put coach Marlys Palmer's frazzled nerves at ease.

Quitta Scott drained two 3-pointers during a 19-3 second half run as Hagerstown (11-3, 7-1 Maryland JuCo) overcame a seven-point halftime deficit to pull away to a 63-52 victory over Potomac State.

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Termed a "significant" win by Palmer, the Hawks were able to avenge last year's loss to the Catamounts in the semifinals of the Region XX tournament. But more importantly, HCC was able to follow the emotional tone set by freshman forward Stacey Zeger, a South Hagerstown graduate.

Zeger dominated the inside play early in both halves and was able to score 10 points, her best total as a Hawk.

"Stacey played her best game against a good team," Palmer said. "She woke us up inside and her emotion helped carry us."

Potomac State, using the physical play of 6-foot forward Alisha Mahoney and the deadly shooting of Takia Barnes, could never quite shake the determined Hawks, who remained patient and poised. The Catamounts led for over 25 minutes in a game, but lost in part because of the Hawks' speed and aggressiveness on defense.

"Both teams were a little conservative on defense at the start," Potomac State coach Elizabeth Hudson said. "We just don't have a bench, and they were really ready to play."

That fact was evident in the beginning of the second half. The Catamounts had gone ahead 37-25 on a Barnes layup when Palmer had seen enough. A timeout for an attitude adjustment was called, and the result was a series of offensive fireworks for Hagerstown that would eventually give it a lead it would never relinquish.

As the game wore on ,the undermanned Catamounts, who only dressed six players for this game, were literally having their legs run out by the signature fast break of the Hawks.

And although Potomac State gamely hung with HCC, never letting it go up by more than five points, they noticably began to wilt under Hagerstown's "run for fun" offense.

Ebony Rector did the majority of the damage down the final stretch, scoring 12 points in crucial situations.

"We responded to their challenge," Palmer said. "This was a great team win."

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