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Hawks fly on Miner's wings

February 01, 2005|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

For years, an Allegany College-Hagerstown Community College game was used as a barometer to separate the men from the boys in Western Maryland basketball.

The same tradition held true on Monday when the two teams met ... only this time, the game was decided by a Miner.

David Miner had his finest game to date for HCC, using his shooting range, explosive power and team concept to score 48 points to make the Hawks the men of the moment after an 84-64 thrashing of Allegany in a Maryland JuCo Conference game at the HCC athletic complex.

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"The team told me that this was my night," Miner said. "It is an honor to beat them, but Coach (Kenny Keyes) had us working hard all week for this."

It was the night of nights for Miner, Keyes and the Hawks.

Miner hit 16 baskets - including eight from 3-point range - to come within three points of tying the single-game scoring mark owned by Dexter Boney. Miner's play was so dominant, he didn't score in the final 10:24 of the game.

For Keyes, it was his first win over the Trojans in three years as HCC's head coach. In fact, it was the Hawks' first win over the Trojans since Jan. 27, 2002.

The Hawks (15-5, 11-2) bolstered their challenge for the JuCo title with the win, staying one game off the pace set by Cecil, and gave them the upper hand for the top seed at next month's Region XX tournament.

"This is the first time I have ever beaten them so this is a big game for me," Keyes said. "It brought tears to my eyes ... I haven't had tears in my eyes since the last time we beat them to go to nationals.

"I knew David was going to have a breakout game from 3. His form is just too good. I kept telling my coaches he was going to do it."

The Trojans (14-6, 8-5) probably had a few tears in their eyes after the way Miner changed the complexion of the game with his long-range shooting. The South Hagerstown graduate's 3s, a few from 20 feet and beyond, forced Allegany's defense out from under the basket and opened up the floor for the Hawks.

"Miner is a good player. They have had a lot of good players at HCC like Dexter Boney," said Allegany coach Mike Baker, who is in his first season as the Trojans' head coach after many years as an assistant for Bob Kirk. "We don't play special defense for any one player. But we didn't come out and get up on (Miner) when he was hitting the 3s. That's been our problem this year, defending against the 3."

Miner scored 28 points in the first half as HCC scored the final five points to take a 42-37 lead at the intermission. Miner benefited from the play of the rest of the Hawks, but turned the three-point area into his personal playground by hitting five in the first half.

"I just think this was a team effort," Miner said. "We all worked together and we had some great passing. I could see Allegany coming out more to defend us, but everyone on the team helped. Alonzo Patterson did a great job today setting the offense."

Allegany stayed within 49-47 to start the second half by working the ball to slow the tempo. But HCC created havoc and raised the tempo with its press to get the game to its favorite pace.

HCC held a 62-54 lead with 11 minutes remaining when it unloaded the knockout punch. It started when Derek Fields scored a followup layup with 10:44 left. Patterson followed with a steal and a 3-pointer 11 seconds later and Miner capped it with another steal and a 3-point bucket he was fouled on for a four-point play at the 10:24 mark - his final points of the night.

Nine points in 20 seconds to build what became an insurmountable 71-54 lead.

"That was the dagger. That was the nail in the coffin right there," Miner said. "We played an excellent game and stayed within ourselves."

HCC began to milk the clock and Allegany began to look tired, coming up short on most shots the rest of the way as the Hawks' lead grew to as much as 21 points.

Patterson finished with 10 points for HCC. Allegany was led by James Hairston, who finished with 15 points before fouling out. Eric Bigby had 14 and Tyronne Beale had 13.

But now, HCC are the big men on campus.

"When we keep playing defense like that and keep making the 3s, we will be tough to beat," Keyes said. "We are so quick, I don't think anyone can play us man (defense). These guys should feel pretty good. They beat Garrett and Allegany back to back. Now it's my job to keep them focused."

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