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Allegany trips up Hawks

February 01, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

When it was all over Saturday, the latest installment of the Allegany College-Hagerstown Community College rivalry was a battle of style.

The Trojans ran theirs while the Hawks' version was cramped.

Allegany pulled in the reins on HCC in the final 10 minutes, using a zone defense and a constricted leg muscle to patiently pull out a 68-61 victory over the Hawks at HCC's athletic complex.

"We got things going the way we wanted but then they started cramping up," HCC coach Kenny Keyes said. "We aren't in game shape ... this is the first game we've played in a week and a half. Once (point guard Rexson Kenley) went down with his cramp, everything slowed down. They slowed it down and then we did because we had to."

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The opening helped the Trojans, ranked No. 7 in the NJCAA national poll, win the final tug-of-war by moving into the zone to regain control of the pace and control of the backboards en route to their 17th consecutive victory.

"We tried to control the tempo for most of the game," Allegany coach Bob Kirk said. "After the half, we let down and had to come back and take over again. They came out and started hitting 3s and it was go-go-go and we said, 'No.'"

The Hawks used the opening 10 minutes of the second half to put Allegany on the run. The fast pace allowed HCC to erase a 33-24 halftime deficit with steals, fast breaks and an onslaught of 3-pointers. It all came to a screeching halt when Kenley hit the floor with a leg cramp with 7:16 remaining after his steal and layup gave HCC a 52-50 lead, its last advantage of the game.

Allegany made its style en vogue again and used a 13-2 run to assume a 63-52 lead with 1:30 remaining that became just too much for the Hawks to overcome.

"We did some stuff differently and changed some defenses before settling in with the zone in the end," Kirk said. "Sometimes, with this team, that's the way we should play all the time. When we try to play quick, we end up trading baskets and we can't do that."

The backbreaker came after an Allegany timeout with 4 minutes remaining when Dwayne Shackelford buried a 23-footer with the shot clock winding down to turn the Trojans' 54-52 lead into a 57-52 stranglehold.

Allegany led 22-10 with 8:31 remaining in the first half behind the outside shooting of Sterling Ledbetter and the inside play of Mike Castro. But Kenley turned the table with five points in a 9-0 run to get the Hawks within 22-19 before the Trojans wrestled back the momentum.

Kenley and Castro finished tied with a game-high 20 points, but they scored them differently. The HCC guard used steals and three 3s to get his total, while Allegany's center chopped away on the inside, scoring just four baskets but hitting 12 of 14 foul shots.

With Kenley hampered, HCC was forced to play zone down the stretch in hopes of protecting Terrell Kittelberger, who had four fouls. He fouled out at the 1:30 mark, when the Trojans had regained the commanding lead.

HCC hit three 3s in the final 90 seconds - by Davon Paige, Andre Brooks and Kenley - in an effort to comeback, but Allegany iced it from the line.

Tyronne Beale came off the bench to score 17 for Allegany, while Ledbetter finished with 12. Thomas Johnson had 12 for HCC.

"We have got to be more patient of offense," Keyes said. "They did that and we didn't. When we relaxed and ran our offense, we did well when we did what we were supposed to. We just didn't execute when it got down to the end."

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