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HCC sends five women's hoops players to four-year schools

July 08, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI

Marlys Palmer has built the Hagerstown Community College women's basketball team with a positive purpose.

The bottom line has always been victories and advancement for the players. Her 500-plus wins in 30 years is a testament to the first half of the equation.

Her 2009 graduating class is proof of the second half.

Five Hawks accepted offers to continue their basketball careers at four-year schools, running the total to eight recent graduates leaving Robinwood roundball for bigger and better things.

"Every year I'm amazed at what happens to our basketball players," Palmer said. "We're not sitting looking for only Division-I kids to come here ... but if one shows up, we'll snatch them up."

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Five players -- four from Washington County and the fifth from Martinsburg, W.Va. -- made their choices with one going Division I, two heading to Division-II schools and two others accepting D-III offers.

"They all made good choices," Palmer said.

· Martinsburg's LaToya Buckner, who redshirted last season, signed to play at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.

"The way this program is run -- getting mostly players out of the area -- to have 20 D-I players in 30 years. ... That's not one a year, but it is still amazing."

· Shawayna Morel, a North Hagerstown graduate, elected to play at Edinboro, a Division II school in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. She averaged 9.7 points and 9.6 rebounds per games this season for the Hawks.

"I am most proud of her," said Palmer. "Just to see how far she has come to be able to go there."

· Cara Thompson, another North graduate, went with her convictions and chose to play at McDaniel College, a Division III program.

"Cara turned down Division I and II offers and stayed loyal to McDaniel," Palmer said. "They have been interested in her since she was in high school. She will have so many options there with her education."

Thompson was HCC's leading scorer at 15.5 points per game, along with six rebounds and 3.4 assists.

· Boonsboro graduate Amy Rhoderick also overlooked other offers to go to Shenandoah (Va.) University.

"They really wanted her there," Palmer said.

Rhoderick averaged 6.5 points, 5.9 rebound and 1.8 blocks per game.

· South Hagerstown graduate Sade Williams will be playing for Virginia State, a Division II school, to complete another transformation story for Palmer. Williams averaged 4.3 points per game.

"If you had seen her playing at South to how she's played for us, it's unbelievable where she is now," Palmer said.

The five will be joining three other former Hawks who are presently playing on the college level -- Smithsburg's Teona Jewell at Davis & Elkins, Marisa Elliott at Lock Haven and Hedgesville's Shuashanna Faulkner at Elizabeth City (N.C.) State.

"It is really incredible for us to have eight players still out there playing," Palmer said. "It's amazing."

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