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Momo a hit for Hawks

February 14, 2006|By BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

The Momo a-go-go is more than so-so for the Hagerstown Community College men's basketball team.

In fact, it's a certified hit.

As Momodou Jobe - better known as Momo - goes, he usually has the Hawks in tow. A case in point came on Monday. When Jobe, a point guard convert, pushed the pace, HCC flourished. When Jobe applied the brake, HCC floundered.

Jobe got HCC over the hump in a game that had more peaks and valleys than the Appalachian Trail, as he exploded for 18 points - including two game-turning dunk moves - to lift the Hawks to a 101-86 victory over Montgomery-Takoma Park.

"Momo picked up his game," HCC coach Kenny Keyes said. "He has a good attitude and the sophomore leadership. He's starting to see the things he can do out there."

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The proof came in sharp contrasts for HCC. When Jobe was pushing up the floor, the Hawks overpowered the Falcons. When he turned to the halfcourt game, Takoma Park overpowered HCC. And when he didn't have the ball, well, we won't go there.

"Momo has made the difference for us since we moved him to the point," Keyes said. "We made the move when we were 0-6 and we went out and won three in a row after the move. When he pushes the ball up the court, we play well. When he walks it up, we lose our brains and the team gets lax. He hasn't mastered the halfcourt yet."

The Hawks (12-11, 10-4) and Falcons should have been wearing silks instead of shorts for this version of racehorse basketball. It wasn't always a great game, but it was beneficial to the cardiovascular system.

HCC broke a 12-12 tie with a 25-8 run over a 10-minute span to take a 37-20 lead. The ball was distributed evenly as the Hawks attacked the basket with Ricardo Lovelace leading the way with six points in the stretch. HCC maintained the edge for a 54-36 halftime lead.

The back-and-forth tug-of-war started in the second half as Keyes tried to give his regulars some rest at the start of their four games in six-day stretch.

Takoma Park cut the deficit to 13, HCC pushed it back to 19. The Falcons moved within 11, the Hawks fought back to get back to 18 at 71-53 with 12:13 remaining.

HCC made its biggest move with a 11-2 run, capped by two consecutive Jobe power slams with just under 11 minutes remaining. The Hawks seemed to be out of trouble with an 82-58 advantage with 9:25 remaining.

With the Hawks on the roost resting, Takoma Park unleashed an 18-3 run over then next 4:02, hitting three of its 10 3-pointers along the way, to get within 85-76 at the 5:23 mark.

HCC regained control one last time, answering with a 16-1 flurry to put the game out of reach.

Jobe led five HCC players in double figures as Lovelace and Ryan Henry added 16 points each while Lamar Richburg had 14. Takoma Park's Mike Harper used six 3s to lead all scorers with 23 points, while Donte Gibson added 21.

"It was a matter of us getting the right guys on the right guys," Keyes said. "When we didn't have the matchups, they came back.

"Ryan Henry played his best game of the year and Momo ... he's quick and just pushes the ball up the court. Before we put him at the point, we were scoring 70 a game. After he got there, we started scoring 80 and keep improving. We are starting to play Hawk basketball."

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