HCC crosses Region XX finish line

February 27, 2011|By BOB PARASILITI |

HAGERSTOWN — First impressions haven’t exactly been the Hagerstown Community College men’s basketball team’s thing.

When it comes to answering the bell, the Hawks hit the snooze button. But they finish by pulling the fire alarm.

HCC shook off a another slow start against Frederick Community College but closed like a house afire on Sunday to claim its first Region XX Tournament title in 16 years with a 93-81 victory at the HCC athletic complex.

HCC advances to the District 3 championship game on Saturday at Allegany College. If the Hawks win, they will advance to the NJCAA national tournament in Hutchinson, Kan.

After falling behind right off the bat, the Hawks got Frederick out of its element and into a faster paced game. From there, it was time to forget the start and remember the end.

“We wanted to go out there and rebound and run,” said HCC coach Barry Brown. “We got into the open court and made good decisions. We finished well. We just got to the finish line ahead of them.”

It was a little more emphatic than it would appear. The Hawks had many heroes en route to winning the championship, but Devin Miller topped the list.

Miller scored 21 points, including a pair of pivotal 3-pointers, to pace the Hawks and become the tournament’s MVP. If there was a second star, it would have been Alister Chisholm, who hit three 3s in a 2:45 span to turn a 6-point HCC lead into a 53-37 bulge with 19:03 remaining in the game.

“Devin Miller has been our leading scorer all year, but he hits some big shots,” Brown said. “And Alister came out and gave us a good start in the second half and everyone started going. When those guys start hitting shots, we start rolling. We were running on all cylinders.”

Miller was a major contributor in Saturday’s 79-68 win over Allegany in the region semifinal with 28 points, including six 3s.

“My team just kept me focused,” said the freshmen, while clutching his MVP plaque. “Coach Brown is always telling me to work my game inside out. This is a big accomplishment and it gets the pressure off my back.”

HCC fell behind 10-2 early as Frederick began its inside game. Chisholm entered and used his floor game to rally the Hawks with passes and slashes to the basket.

“Everyone seems to underestimate Alister’s ability,” Miller said. “I love the way he plays. He gets in there and opens things up for us and he’s a finisher.”

HCC slowly started to establish itself midway through the first half. The Hawks took over as D’Quan Lynch scored on a drive to tie the game and then followed with a steal and feed to Chisholm for a layup and a 16-14 lead with 11:51 left before intermission.

The Hawks moved Frederick out from under the basket and forced it into the open court, turning the game into a quail hunt.

“In the open court, we thrived,” Brown said. “That was the key for us tonight. We are not a fast-break team. We are an opportunistic team. When we have numbers, we work for it. That’s when we are good.”

HCC stretched to a 47-35 lead at the half before Chisholm opened the second half with two of his 3s. Miller capped a 9-2 run with a 3 at the 16:00 mark to give the Hawks a 62-43 lead.

A pair of Jasmin Handanovic 3s lifted HCC to a 76-51 lead, its biggest of the game, with 10:35 remaining. Frederick made its charge back, using a 25-10 run to get within 86-76 with 2:58 remaining before running out of gas.

Anthony Hubbard led Frederick with 20 points, while Trask Ivey added 15. Chisholm had 19 for HCC, while Dameatric Scott finished with 18 and nine rebounds.

“All year long, we have been pointing to this weekend,” Brown said. “This team understands the relevance. We have had a great year, but they capped it off by stepping up at prime time.”

HCC 93, Frederick 81

Weedon 3-7 1-5 8, Hemsley 3-4 1-2 7, Hubbard 8-22 4-8 20, Wiseman 4-9 0-0 10, Ivey 6-14 0-0 15, Holmes 1-4 0-0 2, Wilson 5-12 3-5 13, Kelly 3--6 0-0 7, Veres 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-78 9-20 81.
Scott 6-12 6-6 18, Miller 7-17 4-6 21, White 4-8 2-2 10, Handanovic 2-6 0-0 6, Coates 2-8 1-6 5, Lynch 5-9 4-4 14, Chisholm 8-10 0-0 19, Boyd 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson 0-0 0-0 0, Hairston 0-1 0-0. Totals 34-71 17-24 93.
Halftime — HCC 47, Frederick 35. 3-point goals — Frederick 7-25 (Ivey 3-8, Wiseman 2-6, Weedon 1-2, Kelley 1-2, Hubbard 0-4, Holmes 0-3), HCC 8-22 (Chisholm 3-4, Miller 3-8, Handanovic 2-6, Scott 0-3, Lynch 0-1). Rebounds — Frederick 48 (Weedon, Wilson 8), HCC 48 (Scott 9). Assists — Frederick 9 (Kelly 3), HCC 13 (Scott, Coates, Lynch 3). Turnovers — Frederick 17, HCC 13. Total Fouls — Frederick 19, HCC 17.

Region XX Division I All-Tournament Team
Nick Wiggins, Vincennes
Derrell Armstrong, Allegany
T. J. Wilson, Frederick
Anthony Hubbard, Frederick
Demeatric Scott, Hagerstown
Devin Miller, Hagerstown

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