Hawks speed past Pioneers

January 16, 2003|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

Anne Arundel coach Larry Johnson is heading back to the drawing board ... to kick it down and burn it where it stands.

Before Wednesday's game at Hagerstown Community College, Johnson designed his gameplan while the Hawks warmed up. He chose to pit his six-player team in a running game with the high-octane Hawks.

The game ended up resembling a Conestoga Wagon trying to drag race a Ferrari.

HCC scored early and often as eight Hawks finished in double figures to cruise to a 134-74 victory over the undermanned Pioneers.

Anne Arundel (2-13) was short handed, thanks to injuries and defections. The Pioneers tried to outrun the Hawks (7-8) instead of trying to defend against them.


The Hawks, leading 63-27 at the intermission, pushed the to a 40-point advantage just three minutes into the second half and broke the 100-point barrier with 11 minutes remaining.

HCC coach Kenny Keyes has been waiting for the Hawks to come up with that type of performance.

"(Anne Arundel) caught us at the wrong time," Keyes said. "Right now, this team is playing well."

And how.

In the last two outings, HCC doesn't even slightly resemble the team that seemingly gave away some games gift-wrapped before Christmas.

Keyes hopes the trend continues.

"We are taking care of the ball and shooting much better," Keyes said. "And when we don't hit the shot, we hustle back on defense."

The Hawks bombarded the Pioneers with 56 baskets, including 14 3-pointers.

But most importantly, HCC shot a healthy 57 percent from the floor. Former South Hagerstown player Mike Lee led HCC with 19 points, but Keyes shuffled every player on the bench in and out of the game.

North Hagerstown's Tavis Green drained four 3-pointers and finished with 17 points.

It was the perfect warm up for HCC's showdown Friday with rival Allegany College.

"We are playing more like the team we knew we could be," said HCC guard Andre Brooks, who scored 13 points. "There is more effort and more communication on the floor."

"We want to be the hardest team to beat on everyone's schedule," Keyes said. "And that comes from the hard work we do before the games."

Chris Mendez led the Pioneers with 21 points.

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