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Hawks win in 2 OTs

February 03, 2003|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown Community College basketball team ran its version of "The Man Show" on Saturday.

"Everybody had their moments," said HCC coach Kenny Keyes, while wearily taking a momentary seat in the Hawks' locker room.

The Hawks were so busy deciding who was the manly man of the day, it took 10 extra minutes of play to cast the final vote in a 106-98 double-overtime victory over Garrett at the HCC athletic complex.

HCC squandered an 11-point lead in the last 7 1/2 minutes of regulation, allowing Garrett to first tie the game in the final 23 seconds and then send it into extra sessions on a buzzer-beating, running 3-pointer by Kevin Essex from the top of the key to knot the game at 82-82.

From there, it became a 10-minute game of "To be the man, you have to beat the man" for the Hawks.

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HCC point guard Rexson Kenley won Saturday's title, scoring 10 of his team-high 25 points in overtime to end an heroic comeback attempt by Garrett.

"Rexson was the player of the game," Keyes said. "He was too quick for everyone out there on the floor. You always want the ball in the hands of your point guard at the end, but when we saw they couldn't handle him, we went to him."

If it were voted by committee, Kenley would have had some competition - especially in a game which at times was a enjoyable as a sesame seed between the teeth.

First Clif Carey put HCC in position to win the game in regulation, scoring 10 of his 17 points in the second half - including the first five after the intermission - to give the Hawks the 11-point lead to squander.

"Clif has been the man since the (Christmas) break," Keyes said. "He's scoring and rebounding. When he took over the offense, that's when we started to take off. But we started celebrating too early and let them get back into the game. We get young and start turning the ball over."

After Garrett worked itself back into the game by pounding the ball inside, it went outside to seal the overtime.

Andre Brooks took "man honors" by scoring six of HCC's first seven points to open the first overtime to stake the Hawks to an 89-86 lead. But Martinsburg graduate Tristan Largent hit a 3 and Lee Parris hit the last of his game-high 29 points to force the second OT at 91-91.

Nate Naylor took his turn as King of the Thrill, scoring six straight points after a Kenley layup off the tip to push HCC out to a 99-92 lead with 1:28 remaining.

"He just wanted to be the man," Keyes said. "He stepped up when we needed him, but he was on the floor for his defense at the time. We have enough people where we can press and run and then put another guy in there when he tires."

Girbront Gaddy hit a layup before turning the honors over to Kenley to ice the game and a much needed win for HCC.

"We really needed this one," Keyes said. 'This gets us two games over .500 and that was a team we have to beat later on to get to the Region XX finals. This should give us a lot of confidence."

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