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HCC rides past Takoma

December 02, 2003|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

The first six games of this young season have been all fun for Hagerstown Community College. On Wednesday, the Hawks will have to work to stay undefeated.

There wasn't much work involved Monday night, as HCC used its superior size and talent to open up a 22-4 lead in the first six minutes and blow out Montgomery College-Takoma Park, 94-67.

"Everybody got to play and everybody scored, so I'm happy," Hawks coach Kenny Keyes said. "Were 6-0, and this time last year we were 3-3, so I'm happy."

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On Wednesday, the Hawks (6-0) host undefeated Montgomery College-Rockville (3-0), which averages 104 points per game while holding opponents to 74.

"We're gonna be runnin' and gunnin'," Keyes said. "I hope we have our running shoes."

HCC's three-quarter court 1-2-1-1 zone press took any suspense out of Monday's contest - which was a contest in the loosest sense of the word. Takoma Park (0-7) turned the ball over several times in the backcourt, leading to several easy Hawks' baskets.

"That's the first time we ever opened up in a press (this season)," Keyes said. "It would be hard to guard them man-to-man with their size, some of our big guys would have trouble."

When Takoma Park got its offense set, HCC went to a 2-3 zone - a new wrinkle under Keyes. Takoma Park had few answers for it, failing to swing the ball around and instead settling for numerous jump shots one or two passes into a possession.

Takoma Park's tallest players were only 6-foot-3, so HCC went to work inside with 6-3 guard Terrell Kittelberger, who finished with 17 points and six rebounds.

"Terrell really is a (forward)," Keyes said. "He can shoot a little outside, but that's his strength inside. He's got those long arms, and he just gets to the ball."

Nicholas Griffin made three 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks. Davon Paige had 10 points, Thomas Johnson had eight rebounds and Rexson Kenley had seven assists and four steals.

Ronald Jackson led all players with 25 points for Takoma Park, which did much of its damage when HCC failed to get back quickly enough on defense.

"We worked on conversion from offense to defense, because that's what we're not doing," Keyes said. "We score a basket, but we don't get back down quick enough on defense. It's also from defense to offense, our fast break still isn't like it was in the Jim Brown era, and that's what we need to do to get better."

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