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Hawks' defense in Miner achievement

December 09, 2004|by CURT HORNBECKER/Staff Correspondent

Forget about his points and rebounds.

David Miner's most important contribution to the Hagerstown Community College men's basketball team Wednesday night was floor burns. He led the team with two.

The HCC freshman - a prolific scorer throughout his high school career - did it on the defensive end, sparking the Maryland JuCo-leading Hawks to a 98-68 conference win over Montgomery College-Germantown.

"When he picked his defense up, the whole team picked theirs up," said HCC coach Kenny Keyes. "He took over the game. I hope he realizes - I hope the whole team realizes - you don't have to score to take over the game."

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Franklin Banks, however, threatened to do just that early in the contest for the Gryphons (4-5, 2-2), scoring 17 of his game-high 41 points in the first 11 minutes to propel MCG to a 27-13 advantage with 7:45 left in the first half.

The improved defensive intensity began paying off as HCC (8-3, 5-0) reeled off 26 of the next 33 points, and claimed a 39-34 lead at the intermission.

"Coach (Keyes) told us we needed to pick it up defensively," said Miner. "We started working a lot harder on the defensive end, started getting some turnovers, and really picked it up."

Miner was also instrumental in putting the game away early in the second half - this time on both ends of the floor - scoring seven of his 15 points in a 21-6 run that pushed the lead from six to 21 points in a six-minute span, and accounting for both floor burns defensively.

"Their second-half pressure defense just wilted our guys," said Gryphons coach Xavier Joyner. "We just fizzled in the second half."

Miner seemed more interested in dishing the ball off to teammates late in the game, finishing with five assists to go with his six steals and 11 rebounds.

"I wasn't in a rhythm tonight," said Miner of his assist total. "Everybody else had wide-open shots, so I passed it off to them."

Brian Collins and Marshall Branch finished with 15 points apiece for the Hawks, while Derek Fields and Alonzo Patterson added 10 points each.

Keith Edmonds was the only other MCG player in double figures with 16 points.

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