Branham, HCC burn N.Y. foe

November 25, 2000

Branham, HCC burn N.Y. foe

By BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer

Eric Branham is the fuse of the Hagerstown Community College basketball team.

Once he catches fire, it's only a matter of time before the Hawks explode.

On Friday, Branham sizzled and HCC blew up immediately as the point guard took control of the game in the opening minutes of each half to lead HCC to a 103-82 win over the Technical Career Institute (N.Y.) and hand coach Jim Brown the 700th win of his long career.

Branham, a point guard, hit the first five points of the game and came back with a hand in seven of HCC's first seven points in the second half to get the Hawks off the mark and put the Generals on their heels.

"Eric got into the flow," Brown said. "We needed some great play out of one of our point guards and today it was Eric. The others will come around and have their day to help us another time."


Branham opened the game with a 3-pointer and followed with a steal and a layup for a 5-0 HCC lead in the first 63 seconds of the game. Then he added the floor game with another steal, a rebound and assist to get the Hawks (5-0) rolling.

"Coach told me that I could go out there and I could change the tempo of the game," Branham said. "I came out and tried to take control. I came out to play hard and keep up the intensity."

Branham's play set the stage for breakout games by Ian Brenner, who came off the bench to score 22 points with 10 rebounds and five steals, and Julius Gause, who added 12 points to compliment Branham's 18, which included four 3-pointers.

HCC frustrated TCI with its outside shooting and then took advantage of fastbreak opportunities when the Generals came out of their 1-3-1 defense to press to turn the game into a racehorse pace.

TCI knotted the game at 7-7 before HCC unloaded a 16-0 run that lasted for 6:44 and gave the Hawks the lead that never fell below double digits the rest of the way.

"Once we started pounding the boards, we got some good full court play," Brown said. "We still have to sharpen it up, but this as well as a team has played for me in the full court in a long time."

HCC held a 50-39 lead at the half before Branham's second-half jumpstart pushed it out to a 60-42 advantage. TCI tried to mount a comeback behind Andrew Joseph, who scored 26, and Steven Dechabert, who had 24, but the Generals never got closer than 13 in the second half.

Brown kept his emotions in check after the milestone victory.

"It's a great feeling, but fame is like a vapor," he said. "It disappears. Your last victory is the only one that counts."

HCC 103, TCI 82


Arroyo 0 0-0 0, Clark 4 5-7 14, Faison 1 0-0 2, Andino 3 0-1 6, Robinson 2 1-4 5, Dechabert 8 8-11 24, Henry 0 0-0 0, Joseph 9 8-10 26, Collymore 0 0-2 0, Tally 2 1-2 5. Totals 29 23-37 82.


Tabron 3 0-0 7, Crutchfield 6 2-2 14, Branham 7 0-0 18, Handy 1 0-0 2, DeShields 5 0-2 12, Waller 1 0-0 2, Gause 3 4-6 12, Jennings 0 0-0 0, McKnight 0 0-0 0, Gaddy 1 0-0 2, Brenner 10 2-3 22, Lumpkin 0 0-0 0, Hoffman 2 0-0 4, Showers 3 2-2 8. Totals 42 10-15 103.

Halftime - HCC 50, TCI 39. 3-point goals - TCI 1 (Clark), HCC 9 (Branham 4, DeShields 2, Gause 2, Tabron).

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