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Trojans shoot down Hawks

February 24, 2003|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

FREDERICK, Md. - Hagerstown Community College men's basketball coach Kenny Keyes might want to rethink the idea of using the weather forecast as a scouting report.

Last Saturday, Keyes used the Hawks' season-ending meeting at Allegany College as a barometer to the postseason. Not only did HCC lose 85-71, two feet of snow hit the area afterwards.

On Friday, it was no different ... except this time it rained. While showers were falling outside of Frederick Community College gym, the Hawks were weathering a different kind of storm.

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The Trojans fortified their strong inside presence by converting 14 3-pointers - 11 in the second half - to pull away for a 100-82 victory to eliminate the Hawks in the Maryland JuCo Conference tournament quarterfinals.

"They were pounding it inside against us ... that's our weakness," Keyes said. "We did all right against them, but what are you supposed to do when they are raining 3s on you?"

Good question.

Allegany stuck to the plan which got it two regular season wins over HCC - posting up on the low blocks and using its inside size and height advantage to take control of the game. But on this night, the Hawks were able to hold their own by scooping up loose balls for easy baskets, trailing only 42-38 at halftime.

It was a different story in the second half. Jeremy Snyder and Kevin Mickens - a post player - hit 3s to open the second half to help Allegany to a 48-40 bulge.

It was a prelude of things to come as HCC became CHC, because the Hawks were about to be turned inside out.

"We knew going in they were going to give us the inside shot," Allegany coach Bob Kirk said. "They were playing our guards really hard, coming up on them in the first half and no doubling down inside. Eventually, they went down to help inside and we started to shoot the 3s. We normally shoot them, but the kids are so unselfish to get the ball inside."

HCC closed to within 60-56 on Clif Carey's 3-pointer with 12:30 remaining. But Allegany countered as Mike Castro hit the first of two foul shots with the second going out of bounds to the Trojans. Dwayne Shackelford used the second chance to bury a 3 to make it 64-56.

"That really hurt us," Keyes said. "We wanted to challenge them to make the 3s. We wanted to let (Sterling) Ledbetter shoot and he makes it. Then even Mickens goes out there and hits. Then, what are you going to do?"

Allegany continued to pull away despite the 28-point performance by HCC's Thomas Johnson, who was unstoppable at times. The Trojans used an 18-4 run to pull out to a 97-70 lead before HCC mounted a cosmetic closing rally.

Allegany had six players in double figures, led by Ledbetter with 19. Shawn Wiggins scored 18 - including 5 3s - while Mickens added 17.

"I just hope they don't shoot like that next week (in the Region XX tournament)," Keyes said.




Allegany 100, HCC 82

ALLEGANY COLLEGE (100)

Castro 3 6-8 12, Ledbetter 7 4-5 19, Mickens 7 2-2 17, Robinson 5 3-7 13, Shackleford 4 0-0 12, Snyder 3 0-0 9, Wiggins 6 1-2 18. Totals 35 16-24 100.

HAGERSTOWN COM. COLLEGE (82)

Lee 2 2-2 6, Wingate 1 0-0 3, Kenley 3 2-2 9, Rodger 1 0-0 2, Naylor 1 0-1 2, Carey 2 0-0 5, Brooks 2 2-3 6, Green 1 0-0 2, Simic 2 0-0 6, N. Johnson 4 2-2 11, T. Johnson 28, Gaddy 1 0-0 2. Totals 32 11-13 82.

Halftime - Allegany 42, HCC 38. Three-point baskets - HCC 7 (Simic 2, Wingate, Kenley, Carey, N. Johnson, T. Johnson), Allegany 14 (Wiggins 5, Shackelford 4, Snyder 3, Mickens, Ledbetter).

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