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HCC savors win, but faces more challenges against Allegany

January 29, 2002

HCC savors win, but faces more challenges against Allegany



By Bob Parasiliti


Did you feel it?

The earth moved on Sunday.

Most people didn't feel a thing. You had to be particularly tuned in to Hagerstown - out around Robinwood Drive - to notice any chandeliers moving or knick-knacks knocking.

Hagerstown Community College's basketball team beat much-hated Allegany on Sunday.

That in itself probably didn't leave a blip on the sporting Richter Scale, especially with the loud thud heard out of Pittsburgh when the Steelers went belly up.

But for a chosen few - a crowd a little bigger than a quilting bee but somewhat smaller than midnight at Wal-Mart - a win over Allegany was something to revel in.

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The earthquake on the sporting landscape was the sound of King Kong falling off of HCC's collective back.

For the first time in 12 games, the Hawks were the Faye Wray of the ball, waving as the big monkey toppled from the top of the Empire State Building.

For the first time since Jan. 20, 1996, it was en vogue to chant "HCC, HCC" and not get drowned out at home by a larger chant of "ACC, ACC." (Nowadays, it doesn't have the same ring since Allegany dropped Community from its name).

Oh yeah. Hagerstown defeated Allegany a couple of years ago in the Region XX final, only to forfeit the game because of the use of an ineligible player.

For once, this one was for keeps.

To the Hawks' credit, they outplayed the No. 6 team in the nation. The Trojans were a step slower than the Hawks and sloppier than an infant eating strained carrots.

The Hawks found out that some of their players can answer the bell when a real game - as in one where the other team doesn't have to dress the managers and bus driver to field a roster - is on the schedule.

Mark Jennings, Jernavis Draughn, Darius Hargrove and, in places, Anthony Thompson showed the ability to play at the high level needed to play teams of a national caliber.

So, the celebration is warranted. Just don't overdo it.

In reality, Sunday's win was little more than a carrot at the end of the stick for Hagerstown. The game didn't count in the Maryland JuCo standings, nor did it win a league tournament or Region XX championship.

In fact, it was probably the least useful of the four possible meetings for HCC to win. The only thing this victory may do is give the Hawks the higher seed in the Region XX tournament, meaning they would get a first-round bye in the three-team bracket.

The next time HCC and Allegany meet, it will be on Feb. 16 at Trojan Square Garden. It will be the last game of the season and will set the momentum for tournament time.

After that then comes two possible meetings, one in the Maryland JuCo Conference tournament followed by the Region XX tourney on March 1. And that's the only one that really counts.

So, HCC and its fans may have many more chances to prove that their puffy chests are more than just hot air.

That means HCC has to come up with equally efficient performances over the next six weeks if it plans to cause additional tremors. Only then, "HCC, HCC" would have a meaningful ring.

Bob Parasiliti is a staff writer for The Morning Herald. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2310 or at bobp@herald-mail.com

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