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Hawks fall to Garrett

March 03, 2003|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

It was there. All Hagerstown Community College had to do is take the easy way out.

But instead, the Hawks tried to do things the hard way on Saturday against Garrett Community College. And today, HCC finds itself in the hardest place of all - in the bleachers watching the Region XX Division I championship game.

HCC fought back from a seven-point deficit in overtime with stunning quickness, but failed in the little things which led to a 88-87 season-ending loss to the Lakers in the region semifinal at HCC's athletic complex.

Rashaun Copeland hit 1 of 2 foul shots in the final 1.2 seconds of the extra period to give the Lakers the win.

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"We tried to do things spectacular instead of easy," HCC coach Kenny Keyes said. "That's what happens when you have freshmen. They get caught up in the moment and don't execute."

That leaves HCC in the unusual position of watching Garrett and Allegany play for the region title today at 4 p.m. In year's past, a Hawks-Trojans battle was the highlight of the season.

This year, it isn't even a reality.

"It was the same old story," Keyes said. "We make free throws, we got it. We play defense, we got it. It was a great game, wasn't it."

HCC's final downfall came from the foul line where it hit just 9 of 19 shots, compared to 17-for-22 by Garrett.

HCC dodged a bullet in regulation before even worrying about overtime. Lee Parris was fouled on a drive to the basket by the Hawks' Andre Brooks with .4 seconds remaining. Parris hit the first of two free throws to tie the game at 72-72 and force overtime.

Garrett opened the overtime with an 11-4 run to take a 83-76 lead. But Nagee Johnson hit a 3 to start HCC's comeback, capped by a layup and foul shot by Brooks to knot the game at 87-87 with 21.3 seconds remaining.

The Lakers brought the ball upcourt for the final try and got the ball to Copeland, who led all scorers with 27 points. With the floor cleared, Copeland drove the lane against Brooks and was fouled while trying to hit an 8-foot floater to the left of the lane.

After hitting the foul shot, HCC's Rexson Kenley launched a desperation 3-point try from behind backcourt, only to hit the back of the rim as time ran out.

"We didn't play enough defense to stop them," Keyes said. "We got to a zone, they get a layup. We got to man, they let the guy get an open 3. We lost our minds on defense."

Thomas Johnson led HCC with 20 points while Kenley and Brooks had 15 each in a game that featured 14 ties and 11 lead changes.

Garrett 88, HCC 87

GARRETT COLLEGE (88)

Largent 1-2 0-0 2; Copeland 7-13 4-5 21; Essex 11-14 4-6 27; Paris 7-11 2-3 16; Jones 3-9 4-4 10; Townsend 2-6 2-2 7; Ellis 0-1 0-0 0; Jones 2-6 1-2 5. Totals 33-62 17-22 88.

HAGERSTOWN COMMUNITY COLLEGE (87)

Kenley 7-10 1-5 15; Brooks 7-10 1-2 15; N. Johnson 5-9 2-3 13; Carey 3-8 0-0 7; T. Johnson 8-15 4-6 20; Lee 0-2 0-0 0; Wingate 1-4 0-0 2; Naylor 3-5 0-1 6; Gaddy 4-8 1-2 9. Totals 38-71 9-19 87.

Halftime - HCC, 40-36. Three-point goals - Garrett 5-11 (Copeland 3-5, Essex 1-1, Townsend 1-2, Jones 0-3), HCC 2-7 (Kenley 0-1, N. Johnson 1-1, Carey 1-3, T. Johnson 0-1, Wingate 0-1). Rebounds - HCC 39, Garrett 35.

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