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Early spark ignites HCC women

January 27, 2007|by BOB PARASILITI

It started with a spark. It turned into a wildfire.

As quick as you could strike a match, the Hagerstown Community College women's basketball team was smoking.

It started with an innocent 3-point basket by Sam Cain. Then the Hawks blazed a trail Friday with an incredibly easy 98-48 victory over Anne Arundel.

"With this team, something has to happen for the fire to get lit," said HCC coach Marlys Palmer. "Everybody knows my temperament. I'm fiery. But this team needs something to start them. This team loves the 3-ball."

HCC (17-4, 10-1) put together three scoring flurries - at the beginning and end of the first half and the start of the second half - to toast the Pioneers. It was a combined 36-3 run that pushed the Hawks way out of reach and Palmer within two wins of 500 for her career.

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And the two points that Anne Arundel scored came on the opening basket of the first half.

"Everyone wants to see their team control the first five minutes of each half," Palmer said. "It was a great team effort."

Cain started HCC with a 20-foot 3-pointer and followed with a steal and layup out of a press for a quick 5-0 lead. Marisa Elliot followed with seven points and Jamie Robinson scored a layup to give the Hawks a 14-0 lead in the first 3 1/2 minutes of play.

HCC sparred with Anne Arundel, yo-yoing between nine- and 20-point leads for much of the half. The Pioneers used an Avis Ovoss layup to get back to the 14-point deficit (37-23) before the Hawks unloaded a 12-0 run to end the half for 49-23 advantage.

Chrissy Minnick was the catalyst for the Hawks with her six points, eight rebounds and three steals, but tipped a number of Anne Arundel passes for HCC to run down.

Anne Arundel's Karley Hall hit a 3 to start the second half, but it didn't have the same igniting effect for the Pioneers. Instead, the Hawks countered with a 12-0 run to take a 61-26 lead.

In fact, without the three runs, HCC would have trailed, 26-25.

"For this team to play well, it has to start out well offensively," Palmer said. "It just helps them."

From there, the game's final 14:50 became a matter of how far the Hawks would roll away, which topped out with the 50-point bulge at the final buzzer. Anne Arundel was saddled with early fouls and got frustrated, only adding to its problems.

Every player scored for the Hawks, led by Cain with 18 points, while Robinson added 15 and Elliot finished with 14. Latoya Buckner and Alicia Myers each had nine rebounds.

Danae Brownlee led Anne Arundel with 24 points.

"This was what we wanted to see," Palmer said. "We were at home and the featured game (the nightcap of a men's-women's doubleheader), I told them to enjoy tonight. They played like they were having fun."

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