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HCC men top Harford

January 26, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

There is one way to make Will Taylor's engine go from zero to 60.

Promise him the chance to go from 60 to zero for a while.

Taylor hit the ignition and revved up for the final five minutes of the game Friday to help the Hagerstown Community College men's basketball team pass Harford for a 92-86 victory at the HCC athletic complex.

Taylor, a Williamsport graduate, score two key inside baskets, caused a jumpball to give the Hawks possession and pulled down four of his 11 rebounds in the final 4:10 to help HCC break a 78-78 tie and pull away for the victory.

The motivation was simple.

"Coach just told us if we finish good, we'd have a good weekend," Taylor said. "If we won, we'd get the weekend off."

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Simple enough - bordering on a bribe - but it worked.

The 6-foot-6 Taylor became HCC's final wave of attack against the pesky Owls. It started with the 3-point shooting of Tyrone Hicks, followed by the floor game and outside shooting of Q'Monte Matheny.

John Long came next with tough play around the basket before Kelvin Bright tried to take over the game, leading to Taylor's end game.

"It was just like being in class," HCC coach Ryan Devlin said. "They followed the notes and the bullets on the board. We wanted to attack the rim, rebound and get the foul line. I liked the way they stayed focused."

HCC (17-4) needed the focus as Harford played a disruptive force to the Hawks' offense. The Owls used quick hands and power moves to the basket to stay close. It came down to a battle of HCC's missed shots against Harford's shotless possessions to keep the game tight.

HCC led the entire first half, with the exception of three ties, and held a 55-49 advantage at the intermission. Harford stayed close as Torey Fassett did his own attacking of the basket and Rashawn Alexander used muscle on the inside.

"With the exception of Hicks' 3s in the first half, the majority of our scoring came inside 15 feet," Devlin said. "I was worried about Harford coming into the game. They are the type of team you hate to play in tournaments because they are kind of bipolar. They were 10-10 and you are never sure which team is coming out to play."

HCC maintained a six-point edge for much of the second half until Tarail Jones scored on a follow to give the Owls a 76-74 lead with 7:18 remaining. Bright hit a foul shot and Matheny drove for a three-point play for HCC to regain the lead, only to have a Trail layup tie the game at 78.

Taylor made his presence felt with a 5-footer off the left baseline, followed by a feed to Long for a layup to give the Hawks a 82-78 lead. The rest of the game was rebounding, outlet passes and tough inside defense to close out the victory.

"I was lazy in the first half," Taylor admitted. "Late in the game, I stopped being lazy and started to play. I needed to get in there and get lower than (Alexander). (Harford) played a good game, but they got tired. We are in better shape."

Harford was balanced with five players in double figures, led by Fassett with 18, while Jones and Ricardo Lipscomb added 17 each.

Bright led HCC with 27 points, while Long added 18 and 15 rebounds. Matheny had 16 points and Hicks 15 as the pair combined for all seven of HCC's 3s. Taylor had eight points to go with his 11 rebounds.

"We had a play to isolate Will on the block and take it to them because they were tired," Devlin said. "He doesn't have vertical power. He just boxes out and takes up space. He's kind of like old Wes Unseld."

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