HCC freshman cool in clutch

December 09, 2000

HCC freshman cool in clutch

By BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer

Dominic Crutchfield saw everything unfold right in front of him.

He didn't like the scene and he wasn't really partial to his view - on the Hagerstown Community College bench to start the second half. So when his number was called, the freshman decided to do something about it all.

Crutchfield came off the bench and to the rescue of the Hawks, scoring 14 of his 21 points in an 11-minute span to help HCC fight back from a 15-point deficit and into position to grab a 88-85 victory over Lackawanna Friday in the opening round of the Cline Invitational Tournament at the HCC athletic complex.

"I didn't start the second half and Coach (Jim Brown) didn't substitute in teams like he has been," Crutchfield said. "I was the last one to get in and I was watching because our guys didn't seem to have any intensity. That got me fired up to play. To go out there and get my players fired up was my goal. I didn't care if I didn't score, I just wanted pickup their intensity."


Crutchfield was the powderkeg that exploded for the Hawks. HCC came out of a 38-38 halftime tie and allowed Lackawanna (2-6) to start a 21-6 run in the first five minutes of the second half for a 59-44 lead. Rich Baker started the rally with a pair of 3-point goals for six of his game-high 23 points.

Crutchfield made his initial mark in the second half with a 12-foot baseline jumper with 14 minutes, 10 seconds remaining to get HCC within 59-47. The Hawks (9-1) chipped away with Crutchfield scoring nine points in a 21-7 rally - including both ends of a 1-and-1 - to give the Hawks a 67-66 with 9:02 remaining.

HCC backed up Crutchfield's hustle with a swarming pressing defense, spearheaded by Eric Branham, to get the Falcons out of synch around the basket.

"We didn't shoot well," HCC coach Jim Brown said. "Some guys played well. Eric, Crutch, Julius (Gause) and Jerome (Goodman) all played hard and Corey (Tabron) hit some big shots. Eric got us started with the defense and Crutch finished it off."

Crutchfield, who added nine rebounds, put his signature on the win with 3:20 remaining by diving on a loose ball and calling timeout to preserve the possession and momentum. Branham broke an 83-83 tie with 2:00 remaining and scored four of HCC's final five points to salt away the win.

Branham finished with 16 points while Tabron had 11. Ian Brenner led with 11 rebounds while Jerome Goodman added 10 boards.

HCC meets Howard (Texas) College in today's championship game at 4 p.m. Howard held off Niagara County (N.Y.) 86-84, despite a 43-point performance by Will Winegarner.

HCC 88, Lackawanna 85


Perry 1 0-0 2, Day 8 1-3 20, Rose 6 1-1 13, Williams 0 0-0 0, Baker 11 4-9 28, Goff 5 2-3 12, Staples 0 2-2 2, Hill 2 4-7 11. Totals 33 14-25 85.


Tabron 4 0-0 11, Crutchfield 7 7-08 21, Branham 6 4-7 16, Handy 4 0-0 8, DeShields 3 0-0 6, Waller 0 0-0 0, Gause 3 0-0 6, Jennings 1 0-1 2, McKnight 1 0-1 2, Goodman 3 2-3 8, Gaddy 1 0-0 2, Brenner 2 0-0 4, Hoffman 1 0-0 2. Totals 36 13-20 88.

Halftime - 38-38 tie. Three-point baskets - Lackawanna 5 (Day 3, Baker 2), HCC 3 (Tabron 3). Fouled out - Lackawanna, Goff; HCC, DeShields. Records - Lackawanna 2-6, HCC 9-1. First Game - Howard (Tex.) 86, Niagara County (N.Y.) 84

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