Hawks pick up the pace down the stretch

February 07, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI

For about 30 minutes of play, the Hagerstown Community College men's basketball team looked for a way to unleash its inner animal.

The Hawks were a little mousy and like fish out of water in that first 75 percent of the game. But suddenly, HCC became RAM tough.

With 10 minutes remaining, HCC went into the final stages of upping the game's tempo to its liking on Friday by inserting Raylin Brown, Amaurys Fermin and Jeremy Myers to add the needed octane to turn back tenacious Baltimore City 80-73 at the HCC athletic complex.

The Hawks outscored Baltimore 32-17 in the final 10 minutes, including a closing 7-0 run in the last 1:14 to completely turn around the game and snatch the victory.


"We tried to do something different," said HCC coach Earl Redden. "And it worked well to a point."

Something had to.

HCC (19-5, 12-3) was riveted -- mostly to the floor -- as the Panthers used a patient motion attack to milk the shot clock to under 10 seconds before shooting. The Hawks rarely stand in one place for that much time.

Playing it Baltimore's way translated into a 39-35 halftime lead for the Panthers, who used a zone defense to further slow down the Hawks.

The Hawks unwrapped the plan at halftime. Before the start of the second half, the Hawks huddled while Redden pulled Brown, Fermin and Myers to the side.

"(Redden) just told us that we were going to start the half on the bench and he was going to put us in at a point to change the game," said Fermin, who scored all 16 of his points in the second half. "I was cold because I didn't start today and I just wanted to come in and give the team some motivation."

Redden started the comeback by inserting Joel Cerda in to start the second half at point. He was able to prime the pump for the Hawks.

"Cerda is a little point guard, but he orchestrates the offense well," Redden said. "He gets in the gaps and he got everyone involved."

It only lasted so long as HCC fell behind 56-48 with 10:32 remaining after a pair of Fermin free throws.

Phase II began as HCC started to use a halfcourt trap to get Baltimore out of its comfortable flow. The Panthers rocked the Hawks to sleep as guard Kenneth Alford hit a couple of 3s and James Horton ran the offense.

The trap worked and the pace quickly jumped to HCC's liking. The trap turned into an all-out press to really get into motion.

The Hawks caught Baltimore at 60-60 on a Myers' 10-footer with 5:51 remaining and moved to a 65-60 advantage.

Baltimore got back into the game with some pressing of its own to create a 13-8 run to knot the game at 73-73 with 1:14 left.

"They started pressing us and we couldn't find our spacing for a couple of possessions," Fermin said. "Then, in a timeout, Coach was going to pull us back, but I said let's keep pressing and I wanted to be in the front."

HCC scored three straight times in a 14-second span as Myers, Brown and Fermin each scored to give HCC a 78-73 lead and seal the game.

Raason Young led HCC with 19 points, while Myers finished with 11. Alford led all scorers with 20 for Baltimore.

HCC 80, Baltimore 73

Wallace 5 2-3 12, Torres 0 0-0 0, Alford 7 3-4 20, Horton 2 0-0 5, Johnson 2 0-0 5, McKee 3 1-4 7, Howze 3 0-0 8, Townes 5 5-916. Totals 27 11-20 73.
Brooks 5 0-0 12, Cerda 1 0-0 2, Hill 1 0-0 2, Fermin 5 3-4 16, Brown 3 0-0 6, Young 7 3-5 19, Myers 4 2-2 11, Rascoe 2 0-0 4, Alexander 0 0-0 0, Taylor 4 0-0 8. Totals 32 8-11 80
Halftime -- Baltimore 39, HCC 35. 3-point goals -- Baltimore 8 (Alford 3, Howze 2, Horton, Johnson, Townes), HCC 8 (Fermin 3, Brooks 2, Young 2, Myers). Fouled Out -- Wallace.

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