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Robinson continues to surprise for HCC

December 07, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

When she heard her final point total, Jamie Robinson's eyes opened in surprise like it was something special on Christmas morning.

After all, the Hagerstown Community College sophomore had just finished off a 28-point, 13-rebound performance to lead the Hawks past Cecil Community College on Wednesday night, 75-51.

Never a star at Martinsburg High School, Robinson has developed her game to become an integral part of HCC's early-season success. The Hawks are 11-0 and 4-0 in Maryland JuCo play.

"I wanted to get to the next level of play and had to go the JuCo way," said Robinson. "It has taken a lot of hard work in practice."

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HCC coach Marlys Palmer, who notched career win No. 492, said Robinson has become a very good athlete.

"When you get in a certain system and blend in with the others, you have a chance to be good," said Palmer. "She is coachable and she wants to win."

Robinson, who played the No. 3 spot last year, has moved to the interior and demonstrated her ability to play big within her 5-foot-9 frame.

"(Coach) has made me better by getting me to work on mechanics, ball-handling and to be quicker," said Robinson.

Cecil (3-4, 1-3) played with only six healthy players but never gave up with their effort, despite a major cold spell from the floor in the first half that enabled HCC to expand a 12-8 lead to an eventual 32-23 advantage at the break.

Robinson had 11 points at the break and Sam Cain hit three 3-pointers, but neither team shot well in the first half. HCC hit 33 percent and Cecil hit 17 percent. In addition, the Hawks were only 3 of 10 from the free-throw line.

"The first 10 wins were so easy it was like water pouring out of a cup," said Palmer. "We weren't challenged, and we played like we were behind at the half.

"I asked them how many points were needed to be ahead to win," she said. "I was a little animated ... got them riled up."

The Hawks responded as a team, working the floor end-to-end with Robinson the benefactor.

She hit three straight baskets, two coming off great assists from Teonna Jewell and Marisa Elliot, to give the Hawks a 41-27 lead. During that stretch, Cain was on fire, nailing three more treys that led to her 19-point effort. Her final 3-pointer gave the Hawks a 52-32 lead with 12:35 remaining.

"We had really great play from our guards tonight," said Robinson.

"We looked at our options and capitalized on openings against their zone defense," said Palmer. "Overall I was pleased with the effort."

The Hawks dominated the boards 53-40 with Martinsburg graduate LaToya Buckner pulling down nine caroms to go along with her eight points. Chrissy Minnick also gave the Hawks inside strength off the glass with nine rebounds.

Overall, HCC shot 34 percent from the field and improved its free throw shooting greatly in the second half, going 13-for-15.

Cecil's Jasmine Minter was held without a field goal in the first half and ended with 17 to lead the Seahawks. Tionna Tisdale, also scoreless in the opening 20 minutes, scored 11.

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