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Hawks bow out after blowing big second-half lead

March 04, 2007|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

The semifinal round of the Region XX Men's Basketball Tournament has been a curse for Hagerstown Community College coach Kenny Keyes, whose Hawks have been eliminated with season-ending losses in that round during all five of his years at the helm.

On Saturday night, the Allegany College Trojans came back from a 19-point, second-half deficit to eliminate the Hawks 82-77 at the HCC athletic complex.

The Hawks (8-20) had a 64-45 lead with 9:28 remaining in the game, and they let it slip away.

"We played well, but we couldn't finish," Keyes said. "That is the story of the season. We didn't have enough horses. John Long got a cut above his eye and was out for only five minutes, but that was when Allegany made their run. John Long is a warrior and I wish that he did not have to come out. We gave them a heck of a good battle with seven guys. We worked our butts off."

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Harley Brooks had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Ian Grady added 17 points and six rebounds for Allegany (22-8). Marvin Bolden had 15 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals for the Trojans, while Calvin Lee had eight points and George DeGroat had seven rebounds and six points in the victory.

The Trojans' bench outscored the Hawks' bench, 16-0. B.J. Williams had nine points and Bryen Spriggs scored seven for the Allegany reserves.

"We won because our players have so much heart and so much soul and because they are in very good shape," Allegany coach Mike Baker said. "We were down by 19 points with about nine minutes left when we started our press. That started to take their legs out from under them. We did a better job with our 3s and our rebounding in the second half. A lot of our success was because of our conditioning and our hard work."

Tommy Cox scored 19 points, while Mike Marsh added 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and seven assists for HCC. Leon Nelson had 18 points and nine rebounds, while Marquis Waters got 14 points and eight assists and Long had seven rebounds and eight points for the Hawks.

Chesapeake edged Garrett 65-61 in the other Division I semifinal game.

Today at HCC, Frederick will play Cecil in the Division II championship game at 1 p.m. and Chesapeake will play Allegany in the Division I championship game at 3.

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