Monroe pushes HCC to be philosophical

December 07, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI

Barry Brown graciously accepted the consolation prize on Monday.

It was about all the Hagerstown Community College men's basketball coach could do after the Hawks fell just short in a 97-94 overtime loss to Monroe (N.Y.) Community College.

"I'm not happy we lost, but I'm pleased with the progress," Brown said with a half-smile.

The half-smile was about all he could muster after HCC was unable to finish off what would have been a momentous win over the top-rated national JuCo Division II team. The Hawks showed the resiliency, but lacked the knockout blow they needed in the final two minutes of overtime.

Shyrone Carter buried a 3-pointer from 25 feet to give the Tribunes (8-0) a 95-93 lead with 5.8 seconds remaining before Raheem Singleton hit two free throws with 0.6 seconds left to provide the final margin of victory.


"We battled, showed a lot of heart and had a 'never say die' attitude," Brown said. "We are getting better. They were nationally ranked and we had every chance to win. Now that we have reached that position, it's time to figure out how to get it done."

HCC (5-6) had its chances as neither team led by more than nine points to go with 13 ties and 19 lead changes. Monroe showed the reason why it's nationally ranked with the way it closed the first half, started the overtime and finished off the win.

"Our guard play gives us a lot of confidence," said Monroe coach Jerry Burns. "HCC is much improved over when they played at our place. They play a lot harder and they are playing better defense."

The game was a much different story than the Hawks' 101-81 loss in Rochester, N.Y., on Nov. 28. This time, HCC disrupted Monroe's offense and kept the Tribunes from setting the level of play.

Monroe drew first blood in overtime when Aaron Williams took the opening tip and drove down the middle of the floor for a layup and a 83-81 lead.

The two teams battled back and forth, but HCC took a 91-88 lead on a pair of drives by Demetrus Richardson and led 93-92 when Donte Stuckey scored on an eight-foot bank shot in the lane with 25.6 seconds remaining.

Monroe called timeout and worked for a quality shot. The Tribunes worked the ball around until they found Carter wide open on the point. Without a thought or a lick of conscience, Carter launched the 25-footer for the go-ahead 3.

"We took the timeout and told them we wanted a good shot," Burns said. "That's not a bad shot for (Carter). He has the ability to make them."

Richardson went to the line with a chance tie the game at 95 with a pair of foul shots, but made only one. The Hawks immediately fouled Singleton, who had hit just 2 of 7 free throws in the game, with the fraction of a second left. Singleton coolly drained both shots to put the finishing touch on the win.

Carter led Monroe, which defeated Frederick on Sunday, with 20 points, while Aaron Williams had 16 and Singleton finished with 15. HCC placed four players in double figures, led by Richardson with a game-high 21 and Raylin Brown with 18.

"We failed to execute," Brown said. "We made the physical plays, but we allowed them to get too many easy looks at the basket. That's where champions rise up, they make the little plays. We are getting better."

Monroe 97, HCC 94
Singleton 5 4-9 15, Carter 7 3-4 30, Mixon 5 3-5 13, Eagle 0 3-4 3, An. Williams 2 2-2 7, Aa. Williams 8 2-3 19, Olol 3 0-0 6, Bell 5 0-0 14. Totals 35 17-30 97.
Stuckey 4 7-7 16, Ford 4 3-5 12, Lynch 1 0-0 2, Brown 8 2-2 18, Andrews 3 0-1 7, Richardson 9 2-5 21, White 3 1-2 7, Hairston 2 0-0 4, Drake 1 4-4 7. Totals 35 19-26 94.
Halftime -- Monroe 42, HCC 38. Regulation -- Monroe 81, HCC 81. Three-point goals -- Monroe 10 (Bell 4, Carter 3, Singleton, An. Williams, Aa. Williams), HCC 5 (Stuckey, Ford, Andrews, Richardson, Drake). Fouled out -- Aa. Williams. Technical Foul -- Drake.

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