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HCC gets final win over Mehl

March 07, 2003|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

FREDERICK, Md. - When the Hagerstown Community College women's basketball team took the floor against the Frederick Cougars Thursday night, it was reality TV at its best.

The Maryland JuCo's two most successful programs over the last decade weren't in for any fairy tale finishes. This was a melodrama that was no mellow drama.

And in the final episode for retiring Frederick coach Jack Mehl, it was Hagerstown - behind guard Kim Davis' 29 points - which moved on with a 61-47 win at Frederick's athletic complex.

The feisty Cougars were outhustled and outmuscled by Hagerstown, but kept the game in doubt through the first 30 minutes. Shortly after that, the Hawks took control.

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"We played hard ... I'm not faulting their effort," Mehl said. "Hagerstown played so well in transition. We turned the ball over too much and it seemed every time we did, they would convert."

HCC scored 18 points off of turnovers in a 13-minute span. But the Hawks also played physical inside against the smaller Cougars.

"I think they had to focus on the play of Kristy Gaines, Tiffany Tucker and Autumn Parsons under the boards to the extent where Kim (Davis) had some wide open lanes to drive the ball," HCC coach Marlys Palmer said. "Honestly, I don't think you can cover Davis one on one."

And how.

Davis raced up and down the floor, ending many trips by drawing a foul. Davis shot 16 foul shots scored on drives in the paint.

"I felt good out there tonight," Davis said. "Those guys inside really drew a lot of attention and it was open for me all night. Playing this well is a real confidence builder."

"Tiffany's buckets were huge for us." Palmer said. "And even though Kristy Gaines only had seven, they all came during that run where we set the tone and won this thing."

The run came with 12:03 remaining when the Hawks broke open a 37-35 game with an 11-0 run in two minutes. Gaines and Tucker accounted for 10 points in the run.

"We emphasized all week that if we brought our physical game with us, we would be all right." Palmer said. "We got it going when we needed it."

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