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Hawks give a hoot too late, allow Owls to show who's boss

February 13, 2004|by JACK HILL III

If the Hagerstown Community College men's basketball team could learn how to play the percentages, things might be going much better.

That is, if the Hawks could learn how to play the last 20 percent of the game 100 percent of the time, they would probably win 90 percent of their games.

HCC waited to the final minutes to mount a massive comeback only to come up short on Thursday in an 87-81 Maryland JuCo conference loss to Prince George's at the HCC athletic complex.

The Hawks (17-8, 10-6) fell behind by 19 points before they decided to come at the Owls with their best effort.

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"If we played like we did during the last eight minutes all the time with a sense of urgency, then we can beat anybody in the country," HCC coach Kenny Keyes said. "We have got to start making our free throws, run our half-court offense better and play full-court pressure defense for the whole game, instead of just the last eight minutes. We have also got to box out better on the boards. We gave up too many second and third shots."

Prince George's (14-10, 9-8) got the upper hand with the play of a handful of players. Antoine Lesesene scored 25 points and B.J. Miller added for 24 points for the Owls, while Cory Scott added 14 points and Timothy Contee had 12 points to bolster the attack.

Most of the damage came from long range as the Owls connected on 13 3-pointers, led by Miller with seven and Contee with four. HCC countered with 11 treys of its own.

"I think that B.J. Miller scored well and he made some good decisions for us," Prince George's coach John Wiley said. "I think that we played well at times, but we were inconsistent for half of the ballgame. That enabled them to get back in it. They were one possession from tying it up. Hagerstown didn't have a good shooting night, but they hung in there."

Davon Paige came off the bench to hit eight 3s for HCC to finish with a team-high 24 points. Terrell Kittelberger scored 19 points, while Jamal Kittelberger added 17 points for the Hawks. Rexson Kenley 11 assists and four steals, while Thomas Johnson had 10 rebounds for HCC.

The Owls led the Hawks for most of the game, holding a 46-32 halftime advantage. Prince George's took its biggest lead at 60-41 with 13:46 remaining in the second half.

However, HCC rallied to close within 81-78 with 1:55 remaining before the Owls repelled the comeback attempt.

"They caught us off-guard in the beginning of the game with a triangle-and-two defense," Keyes said. "We just went to sleep. It was a good move on Prince George's' part."

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