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HCC women depend on youth to stay on top

November 08, 2002|by JACK HILL III

BHagerstown Community College women's basketball coach Marlys Palmer says she knows her women's basketball team is talented.

The only problem is that talent has been overly tested as of yet.

So, Palmer is wondering just how HCC will do this season.

"I am optimistic, but concerned, about the upcoming basketball season," Palmer said. "I am optimistic, because on paper, we have a lot of talent. We have some size and some quickness. I am concerned because Ashley Mason is the only returning player with a lot of game experience. So, I am concerned about a lack of game experience. Another concern would be how quickly that we come together as a team."

The Hawks have a tough act to follow. HCC finished last season with a 28-4 record, the most wins in a season in school history, to give Palmer fifth 20-win season in the last six years.

HCC capped it by winning the Maryland JuCo Conference's regular season and tournament titles, but finished second to Frederick in the Region XX Tournament.

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Palmer will turn to a youthful look in the starting five to get HCC back on top.

Freshman Amanda McGhee (North Hagerstown) will be the point guard and joined in backcourt by freshman Nicole Brown (Crisfield) at shooting guard. Freshman Alicia Romero (Gettysburg) and Mason (North Hagerstown) will man the forward spots while sophomore transfer Kristy Gaines (East Coweta High School) will be the center.

Sophomore Autumn Parson (North Hagerstown) has a muscle strain in her back, but she will see plenty of playing time at power forward. The other freshmen are forward Marquita Polhill (Waynesboro), guard Kim Davis (Parkside, Md.) and guard Michelle Moore (Broadfording Christian Academy).

Freshman Kristy Long (Greencastle) started as a walk-on, but has worked her way up in the depth chart to become the top guard off of the bench. The other sophomores are guard Marquiela Gantt (North Hagerstown) and center Mandy Myers (Boonsboro).

Sophomore Tiffany Tucker (Broadfording Christian Academy) has come back from her redshirt season to play center.

HCC will be up against the usual suspects to reach last year's heights.

"I think that you have to give the preseason nod to Frederick as being the best team in the region," Palmer said. "I hope to be able to compete with them. It is a challenge every year. Prince George's and Catonsville are some of the other top teams in the region."

The Hawks open their season with two home games at the HCC athletic complex, starting Saturday at 5 p.m. against Essex (N.J.) before hosting Region XX rival Potomac State on Monday at 7 p.m.

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