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Sugars, HCC just too wise for Owls

January 12, 2006|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

For Marcus Sugars, the feeling was just so sweet.

The Hagerstown Community College freshman came off the bench to pour in 13 first-half points to propel the Hawks to a 102-50 Maryland JuCo Conference win over Harford Community College Wednesday night.

"We had a shootaround this morning, and I was 8-for-10 (from 3-point range)," said Sugars, "So I knew I was feeling good, and I wasn't going to hold back coming off the bench tonight."

Sugars provided the hot hand in the decisive HCC run early in the game.

Trailing by two, the Hawks (5-8, 4-2) reeled off 22 consecutive points in a 7 1/2-minute span with Sugars scoring 10, going 5 of 7 from the floorwith a pair of 3s.

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But Sugars, who finished with 15 points, wasn't the only player to contribute significantly off the bench. Lamar Richburg and Tommy Cox added 14 points apiece and Jabel Sallah added nine.

"Our bench has been practicing hard," said HCC coach Kenny Keyes. "These guys are playing too good. It's going to be hard to keep them on the bench. If they keep playing that way, we're going to be tough to beat down the stretch."

In about a 20-minute span, from 15:27 of the first half to 16:33 of the second half, the Hawks outscored Harford (5-7, 1-5) 52-12 before adding a 25-6 run late in the second half.

While Keyes was thrilled with the win over a team that defeated arch-rival Allegany College earlier in the year, Harford coach Melvin Smith said injuries and academic issues - two players were declared ineligible, while two more were injured - have depleted the Fighting Owls roster.

"That was it," said Smith. "But take nothing away from Hagerstown. They shot the ball well and really hurt us in transition."

Keyes agreed. The HCC defense forced 26 turnovers, which led to numerous easy buckets, and those easy buckets contributed to the Hawks' 50 field goal percentage (40-for-80).

The Fighting Owls (5-7, 1-5) managed to score two successive field goals on only four occasions in the game, and they never score more than two in a row.

Derrick Fields led the Hawks with 18 points, while Brian Selby (23 points) and Tornell Goodwin (14 points) paced Harford.

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