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Hawks fall to Harford

February 06, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

If Hagerstown Community College women's basketball coach Marlys Palmer is correct, her Hawks lost a game Wednesday night but found something far more important - themselves.

HCC came out completely flat and fell behind to Harford 34-9 in the first 11 minutes, then turned to pressure defense - something the Hawks rarely use - and rallied to tie the game in the final minutes before falling 86-77 in a Maryland JuCo contest.

"It's taken this club a long time to find themselves, and I don't think they found themselves until the 11-minute mark in the first half," Palmer said. "Sometimes a team needs to find itself, find its heart ... and I think we did that."

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The Hawks (14-9) were lethargic from the opening tip, showing little energy and turning the ball over 13 times in the first 11 minutes against Harford's zone press. HCC finished the half with 22 turnovers and just 12 field goals.

Freshman guard Kim Davis was the only Hawk who brought energy to the court in the half, running in transition and slicing through Harford's defense for 11 first-half points. Her play also helped open up Kristy Gaines, a 6-foot-2 center, for two 3-pointers in the half as HCC cut the 25-point deficit to 18 at halftime.

"She gets better every game," Palmer said of Davis. "She's not a true point guard, she was a (shooting) guard in high school. ... She has a leadership quality this team could use as far as energy."

Palmer turned to a quicker, smaller lineup in the second half, and turned the press around on Harford. Amanda McGhee (12 points), Kristy Long (eight points) and Alicia Romero (six points) joined Davis and Gaines, and HCC turned over Harford 13 times in the second half, cutting the lead to three in less than seven minutes.

"We prefer not to press, but we were in a situation where we had no choice," Palmer said. "We may have to change that if our team brings that kind of energy. We haven't shown that kind of energy consistently."

The Hawks finally tied the game on McGhee's jumper from the right wing with 2 minutes, 30 seconds left to go. But Harford ended the game on a 9-0 run to close out HCC.

Still, Palmer is convinced her Hawks found their heart.

"If we have to lose games to find it, so be it. Tonight, we lost and won, I think."




Harford 86, HCC 77

HARFORD COMM. COLLEGE (86)

Ducroz 14, Jasper 17, Galloway 12, Cooper 15, Johnson 10, Taylor 9, Jones 2, Hickman 7. Totals 31 15-23 86.

HAGERSTOWN COMM. COLLEGE (77)

Gaines 21, Davis 22, Parson 4, Long 8, Mason 2, Brown 2, McGhee 12, Romero 6. Totals 30 11-25 77.

Halftime - Harford, 49-31. Three-point goals - Harford 9 (Ducroz 3, Jasper 3, Galloway 2, Cooper), HCC 6 (Gaines 4, Long, McGhee). Fouled out - Galloway, Gaines.

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