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Kittelberger comes up big

January 03, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

bbobp@herald-mail.com

It became a matter of how the Hagerstown Community College men's basketball team sized up Terrell Kittelberger.

If Kittelberger had his choice, he'd be one of the small guys in a contingent of large teammates. If coach Kenny Keyes has his druthers, Kittelberger is better off being the big man on campus in the Hawks' pint-size platoon.

So when it came down to the tall and the short of it, Keyes trumped Kittelberger. HCC turned to a smaller lineup in the final seven minutes of the first half, featuring 6-foot-3 Kittelberger as the power forward, vaulting the Hawks to the little lead that grew into a huge advantage Friday for a 83-69 victory over the College of Southern Maryland.

Kittelberger was the difference in the game, although he may not have realized it. The sophomore scored 10 of the final 17 HCC points in the first half to turn a 26-25 deficit into a 42-30 lead at the intermission.

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"We went to a smaller lineup and put Terrell in at the 4 (power forward)," Keyes said. "That's his strength but he doesn't realize it."

HCC (10-1) made the switch coming out of timeout with 8:30 remaining in the half. The Hawks bogged down against Southern Maryland's height and needed to take advantage of their quickness.

"In the last seven minutes, we had four guards and Terrell in there," Keyes said. "We were able to get some movement with the ball."

Kittelberger worked to the inside for an 8-foot jackknife-like jumper in the lane to give HCC a 27-26 lead with 4:03 left. He followed with two 3-pointers and a fast-break layup off a Rexson Kenley pass to help the Hawks to the 12-point halftime lead.

"I played (power forward) in high school," said Kittelberger, who finished with a team-high 19 points. "I'm comfortable in there and I got some shots. It's not that I don't want to play in there, I just don't want to be banging around against bigger guys on bigger teams. ... I don't mind being in there if I can pop out to take shots."

If Keyes needed to convince Kittelberger any more of his need on the inside, it came early in the second half.

The Hawks went back to their bigger lineup to start the second half, but Southern Maryland scored the first seven points to cut the deficit to 42-37, prompting an HCC timeout at the 18:13 mark.

Keyes pushed Kittelberger to the inside and the Hawks regained control. HCC began to wear down Southern Maryland's interior players and took over the rebounding edge.

The Hawks unleashed a 13-6 run, led by a pair of Devon Paige 3-pointers, to push out to a 55-43 lead. HCC led by as many as 19 and no less than 11 the rest of the way.

Kittelberger led three Hawks in double figures, followed by Paige with 15 and Kenley with 12. HCC hit 21 of 27 foul shots in the game to help hold off Southern Maryland.

Southern Maryland was led by Jerry Parker with 20 points before he fouled out.

The win came after a two-week holiday break for the Hawks, who didn't play their best game but well enough to win.

"We have to settle down and take our time on offense and then play the defense," Kittelberger said. "That's what's going to win for us. Everyone is going to score, but we have to play defense to win the conference and the region like we want."

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