Any number of things ran afoul for HCC (17-10) as it was eliminated from state title contention. The most glaring was a 1 of 18 performance from 3-point range. And the Hawks didn't get that one 3 to fall until Tony Rhoades hit with 2 minutes, 10 seconds remaining in the game.
By then, it was already over as it brought HCC within 76-60.
"Cecil knew we don't have very many good outside shooters," Brown said. "They gave us the opportunity to shoot the 3. If you live by the 3, you're going to die by the 3 - and we are going to die more often than win."
HCC's offense could barely steam up a mirror. It was a far cry from Thursday's 91-57 win over Harford, when the Hawks hit 12 of 31 3-pointers against a team with just five players. Corey Tabron missed all four of his 3s and only scored two points on Friday after hitting 8 of 13 deep shots and scoring 30 on Thursday.
"We play a different style of defense," Cecil coach Bill Lewitt said. "Harford stayed in a zone. We come out and challenge you. Anytime you let a team like Hagerstown get a rhythm, they will kill you."
HCC was out of step from the beginning and never led in the game. Cecil held a 14-10 lead with 12:35 left in the first half before using a 15-4 run, keyed by Rudy Wallace's 11-point outburst which included three 3-pointers.
Cecil led by as many as 27 and as few as nine - after the first score of the second half - in the final 20 minutes to earn a semifinal date with Dundalk today at 8 p.m.
HCC's offense turned into a freelance fair as Brian Williams led the Hawks with 20 points and Delvin Anderson added 14. Jerome Coleman led all scorers with 26 points as the Seahawks held a 52-36 rebounding edge.
"We shot very poorly and that's tough to understand after last night," Brown said. "This team lacks mental toughness. This club doesn't do well when it gets behind."