HCC hoops recruits have more to offer

July 10, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI

The economic downturn has even turned Hagerstown Community College women's basketball coach Marlys Palmer into a bargain shopper.

When it comes to shopping for athletes, Palmer has cashed in with four two-for-one deals.

Palmer signed five players to play for the Hawks next season. Four of them will be coming with plans to play in two sports.

"I scratch (the other teams') backs and they'll scratch mine," Palmer said while laughing. "It should help with our recruiting costs."

Two of the five athletes will also play softball, while two others will participate in track. That supplies added help for softball coach Amy Sterner and track coach Brian Ferrari.


But in basketball, it means a wide array of talent to help fill the holes created by the graduation of six players. Three of the five are from the Tri-State area.

The softball team will get help from Waynesboro's Mallory Wishard and Hancock's Shawanda Mills.

Wishard averaged 15.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game before helping the Maidens reach the PIAA Class AAAA state softball semifinals this year. Mills averaged 8.9 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Panthers before playing softball.

"Shawanda came on late in the year," Palmer said.

The third local recruit is Tashia Caldwell from Chambersburg, who could give the Hawks an outside presence.

"She is a scrappy defender and has a nice 3-point shot," Palmer said.

The Hawks women -- and the track team -- will get big boosts from the last two recruits. They are Marian Brooks from Woodbridge, Va. and Tomi-Layo Bare from Hampton, Ga.

Brooks is the daughter of former HCC men's basketball player Vernon Brooks.

"It is kind of neat to see part of the HCC family coming back home," Palmer said.

Brooks averaged 14 points and seven rebounds to earn first-team all-district honors and was named an all-Metro honorable mention. She is also a standout field events performer in track.

Bare is a 6-foot-3 inside player who recruited herself to HCC.

"She was looking for a junior college that offered track and basketball and found us on the Web," Palmer said. "We started writing back and forth and then she came up for a visit and liked it."

Bare would like to compete in throwing events on the track team.

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