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Howard ousts Hawks

February 21, 2004|by JACK HILL III

The Hagerstown Community College women's basketball team gave it its all on Friday.

The problem was, the Hawks just needed a little more.

The Hawks found themselves in a nip-and-tuck battle with top-seeded Howard in the final quarterfinal game of the Maryland JuCo Tournament at the HCC athletic complex. In the end, Howard nipped more than HCC could tuck for a 73-69 victory to oust the Hawks from the tournament.

"I thought that it was an excellent basketball game," HCC coach Marlys Palmer said. "I thought that we played with heart and courage for 40 minutes. The whole team just played well. We wanted to leave it all out on the court and I think that we did that. I am proud of them."

Hagerstown (15-13) and Howard (18-3) matched each other basket for basket and see-sawed the lead throughout the second half, but the Dragons were able to defend their four-point halftime lead to score the victory and move into tonight's semifinal against Baltimore.

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HCC's Eariel Gholson scored 18 of her game-high 29 points during the first half to help HCC serve notice to Howard in the first half, but the Hawks trailed 38-34 at the intermission.

"We put our best defender, Kari Filipowicz, on Eariel Gholson in the second half," Howard coach Andie Stretmater said. "We knew that we had to stop her."

It was more of the same in the second half. HCC took its last lead at 57-56 with 6 1/2 minutes remaining on Dee Brown's 3. The Dragons countered by outscoring the Hawks 17-12 down the stretch to secure the four-point victory.

Kierra and Tierra Wilkins, Howard's 5-foot-9 twin guards, gave HCC double trouble. Kierra Wilkins had 22 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and six assists, while Tierra Wilkins added 13 points and three assists.

"They do what they always do," Stretmater said. "We know that they are going to step up. We just don't know which one it's going to be. They are probably two of the most athletic girls that I have seen in the conference. Our girls were able to hold their composure. It was one of the toughest victories of the year."

Erica Jenkins added 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Sierra Charon had 12 points and eight rebounds for Howard.

Gholson finished with six 3-pointers and four assists, while Brown added 14 points, five steals and three assists for HCC. Alicia Romero pulled down 11 rebounds.

In the other quarterfinals, Baltimore advanced with a 69-50 victory over Cecil. Prince George's beat Harford 95-54 and Garrett defeated Allegany, 84-45.

Third-seeded Prince George's meets No. 2-seed Garrett today at 5 p.m., followed by fourth-seeded Baltimore against Howard. The winners will play for the tournament title on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tamieka Noel scored 26 points and Shalane Price added 19 points for Baltimore. Cheri Bryant scored 16 points to lead Cecil.

Sophomore forward Lasha Anderson led Garrett with a game-high 23 points to stop Allegany. Ashley Gale led Allegany with 15 points.

Terri Humphries had 22 points and Kenya Jackson scored 20 points to lead a well-balanced scoring attack for Prince George's in the win over Harford. Brittney Ducroz scored 19 points for Harford, which only had five players.

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