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HCC hacks by Howard

December 09, 2000

HCC hacks by Howard



By BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer


As games go, this one won't be considered for an ESPY.

The names should have been changed to protect the innocent on Saturday when Hagerstown Community College banged out a 114-106 victory over Howard (Texas) College to win the Cline Invitational championship at the HCC athletic complex.

Referees' whistles blew louder and longer than the horn at the end of Fred Flintstone's workday. There should have been valleys at each foul line, where each team dug in to throw up nearly as many free throws as there are Dalmatians - in either movie. And the game had as much flow as the glacier cap.

But when it came down to it, HCC had what it took to win.

"We did what we needed to do to win," HCC coach Jim Brown said.

If that means playing defense in spurts while Eric Branham dealt off assists and Brandon DeShields dusted off his long-range missile kit for seven 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 32 points, it was enough.

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It was just enough to cover up the combined 68 fouls, including 37 by HCC.

It was enough to cover up the 91 foul shots, out of which Howard launched 52 tries.

HCC (10-1) gained some breathing room in the first half with the help of a pair of Howard technical fouls. The two five-point flurries from foul shots and a defensive steal moved Hagerstown to a 58-50 halftime lead.

HCC cushioned the lead to open the second half with an opening layup by Jerome Goodman followed by a steal of the inbounds pass, leading to a five-footer by Ian Brenner to establish a 62-50 lead to force Howard (5-7) to call time with 19:47 remaining in the game.

"The start of the second half really set the tone for us," Brown said. "We have a tendency to play defense in short spurts. If we can make the spurts longer, we could really start putting people away quicker, but we got what we needed."

Branham's slick passing accounted for nine of his 11 assists in the second half. DeShields came back from a collision with teammate Dominic Crutchfield that put a bloody cut over his eye to carry HCC's offense the rest of the way.

The freshman hit 20 of his 32 points, including four 3s, in the final 12 1/2 minutes to help HCC survive a bout of Cuisinart defense, where the Hawks fouled 10 times in the same time span. Howard was only able to cash in 36 of the 52 foul shots.

Howard closed to within 93-89 with 6:40 remaining behind Darius Mattear's 32 points and Derrick Tarver's 25, but Brenner scored four of his 17 points to give HCC and eight-point advantage.

"That was a great performance by Brandon, especially after getting hurt," Brown said. "Howard was bigger than we are and they had strong guards. We had to adjust to the physical play and that threw us out of synch. We just did what we needed to win."

HCC 114, Howard 106


HOWARD COLLEGE (106)

Tarver 7 10-12 25, Acker 1 0-0 3, Milligan 0 4-6 4, Williams 2 6-9 10, Davis 2 0-0 4, Wright 1 0-2 2, Whittler 2 0-1 5, Moss 4 6-11 14, Pinedo 1 2-2 5, Mattear 12 8-9 32, Knox 1 0-0 2. Totals 33 36-52 106.

HAGERSTOWN COM. COLLEGE (114)

Tabron 1 3-4 6, Crutchfield 0 0-0 0, Branham 4 5-6 13, Handy 0 2-4 2, DeShields 10 5-8 32, Waller 1 1-1 3, Gause 1 2-2 4, Jennings 4 2-3 11, McKnight 2 1-2 5, Goodman 4 3-4 11, Gaddy 3 0-1 6, Brenner 7 3-4 17, Hoffman 2 0-0 4. Totals 39 27-39 114.

Halftime - HCC 58, Howard 50. Three-point baskets - Howard 4 (Tarver, Acker, Whittler, Pinedo), HCC 9 (DeShields 7, Tabron, Jennings). Technical Fouls - Whittler, Howard bench. Fouled out - Howard, Davis, Williams; HCC, Jennings, Goodman.

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