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Bombs away as Cecil tops Hawks

February 19, 2011|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

FREDERICK — The Hagerstown Community College men’s basketball team wasn’t quite itself on Saturday.

The Hawks were in a trance, somewhere between amnesia and hypnotization. Then again, it might have been shellshock.

The Hawks lost their identity, which can happen when bombs rain all around you. Cecil College fired an array of 3-point shots on HCC, which took the Hawks out of their style while dominating an 88-75 decision in a Maryland JuCo Conference Tournament semifinal.

The Seahawks (23-5) launched 3-point grenades from the beginning to get an early stranglehold on the game. HCC (24-5) tried to match Cecil, but came up on the short end.

Cecil will face either Frederick or Allegany in Sunday’s final.

“We didn’t play a good game,” HCC coach Barry Brown said. “We can’t match that. That’s not the way we play. We got caught up in it and we only have ourselves to blame. We are the ones who choose our shots.”

Cecil’s Omar Strong opened the game with his first of six 3s to get the Seahawks out of the blocks. The teams battled to five ties, the last at 32-32 when HCC’s D’Quan Lynch scored on a runner in the lane with 4:45 left in the half.

The Seahawks closed with a 16-4 run — 12 points coming on 3s — to take a 48-36 lead at halftime. Cecil hit 10 of 19 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes to change the complexion of the game.

“That is a good shooting team,” Brown said. “They hit open 3s and tough ones. When you shoot like that, you have a great chance to win. Every time we made a run, they hit a 3. Every time we came back, they hit a 3.”

HCC tried to gain some control in the second half, but Cecil opened with 3s by Strong and Harold Washington to take a 54-38 lead. Devin Miller put up eight points as the Hawks made a run to get back to within 76-64 with 6:50 remaining.

“We still had a chance if we ever could get (the deficit) under 10,” Brown said. “I kept counting the possessions — ‘We are only three, four, five possessions down.’ It was attainable because we had plenty of time, but we couldn’t get it to 10.”

Cecil hit another burst, capped by a pair of 3s by Khaalis Coppock-Bey, to jump out to a 88-68 lead. HCC scored the final seven points in the last minute to make the final score closer.

Cecil hit 15 of 29 3s in the game to HCC’s 10 of 28. Strong led with 26 points, while Jermaine Edwards added 19.

Miller led HCC with 15 points, while Najee White added 13 points and eight rebounds.

“That’s life,” Brown said. “I told the team that we had a great run in the regular season — we count this tournament as part of it. We were shooting for 30 games, but we only got to 29. Now, we start getting ready for what we have been building for the entire season — the Region XX tournament. Two wins and we are in the national tournament.”

Cecil 88, HCC 75
CECIL COLLEGE (23-5)

Clark 2 0-0 4, Edwards 8 2-4 19, Green 4 1-2 10, Washington 5 0-0 13, Coppock-Bey 5 2-2 16, Strong 10 0-0 26 Totals 34 5-8 88.
HAGERSTOWN COM. COLLEGE (24-5)
Lynch 4 0-0 10, Scott4 0-0 11, Chisholm 3 1-4 7, Miller 6 0-0 15, White 5 3-3 13, Boyd 1 2-2 4, Handanovic 0 2-2 2, Jackson 1 0-0 3, Hairston 3 0-0 6, Coates 2 0-0 4 Totals 29 7-7 75.
Halftime — Cecil 48, HCC 36. 3-point goals — Cecil 15-29 (Strong 6-11, Coppock-Bey 4-6, Washington 3-5, Green 1-2, Edwards 1-3, Clark 0-2), HCC 10-28 (Scott 3-7, Miller 3-10, Lynch 2-3, Jackson 1-1, Chisholm 1-4, Coates 0-1, Handanovich 0-2). Rebounds — Cecil 36 (Edwards 9), HCC 44 (White 8), Assists — Cecil 12 (Strong 5), HCC 10 (Lynch 3). Turnovers — Cecil 8, HCC 8.

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