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Hawks take long way home to nip Essex

January 22, 2009|By CURT HORNBECKER

Had the Hagerstown Community College men's basketball team been as successful close to the hoop as it was from 3-point range in the second half, the final result would have been dramatically different.

As it was, the Hawks managed to escape with a 79-75 victory over Maryland JuCo foe Essex Community College Wednesday night.

HCC (16-4, 9-2) drilled 7 of 14 shots from beyond the arc in the final 20 minutes, including one from Jordan Brooks with 1:11 remaining that seemed to break the back of the Knights. The Hawks made just 5 of 22 from closer range.

"In practice we work on repetitions. We take a lot of shots," said the Hawks freshman. "That's just what we do. I was just staying in the game plan."

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That plan nearly backfired. After four 3-pointers in a three-minute span midway through the second half gave it an 11-point advantage, HCC watched Essex (10-11, 5-6) slowly creep back into it.

The Knights responded with a 12-1 run to tie the game at 71, but David Ford, JuCo's leading scorer, fouled out with 1:48 left. Isaiah Hill, who led the Hawks with 22 points, made both free throws for a two-point lead, but Jamal Bell hit a layup at the other end, to set up Brooks' 3-pointer. That started a 6-0 HCC run to clinch the win.

"When David Ford fouled out, we kind of lost our identity," said Essex coach Michael Francis. "(After that) we had a couple turnovers trying to force the action and that hurt us."

While HCC led most of the way -- a 4-2 advantage was the Knights' only lead of the game -- the Essex zone defense seemed to keep the Hawks off balance.

"We never could get the game at our pace," said HCC coach Earl Redden. "We couldn't seem to get into our flow. (Essex) played zone most of the game and we didn't attack it the way we should have."

Despite trailing by 10 at the half, the Knights quickly trimmed the gap to three with 14:40 remaining. Two buckets by Hill stretched the margin to 56-48, but Essex used a 10-3 run pulled the Knights to within one with 9:15 left.

Raason Young added 13 points for the Hawks, and Amaurys Fermin chipped in 10.

Ashzon Artis' 24 points led all scorers, while Ford was held to just 15 points.

HCC 79, Essex 75
ESSEX (10-11, 5-6)

Bookhardt 4 2-2 10, Pacius 6 1-2 13, Wright 2 0-0 5, Bell 3 0-1 6, Brown 1 0-0 2, Artis 10 4-7 24, Ford 4 7-10 15, Totals 30 14-22 75.
HAGERSTOWN C.C. (16-4, 9-2)
Brooks 5 2-2 17, Hill 9 2-2 22, Fermin 4 1-3 10, Brown 3 0-0 7, Young 5 0-0 13, Myers 2 0-0 5, Rascoe 2 0-0 4, Taylor 0 1-4 1, Totals 30 6-11 79.
Halftime - HCC, 44-34. 3-point goals - Essex 1 (Wright). HCC 13 (Brooks 5, Hill 2, Fermin, Brown, Young 3, Myers). Fouled out - Ford.

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