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Unbeaten Hawks get victory they want

November 16, 2011|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — As wins go, Wednesday’s victory for the Hagerstown Community College men’s basketball team was one of five for the season.

But it rated first in overall importance. In fact, it was branded Double X.

The Hawks rolled out strong early defense and showed the depth of their roster as they overwhelmed Frederick 105-87 for the first major checkpoint of the season at the HCC athletic complex.

“From my standpoint, this was a great win against a great team,” said HCC coach Barry Brown. “The big significance was that it came against a Region XX Division I team. This division is tough and that was a tough team. It was a big win against a team that has some national aspirations.

“This is only one win out of five, but it is one we wanted.”

The Hawks (5-0) did their job with a team concept in mind. Twelve players scored for HCC, including six in double figures. Each player had his own cameo appearance that put HCC over the top.

The defense forced the Cougars (3-1) into many missed shots, quite a few mishandled balls and enough errant passes to make HCC’s defense look good and put the offense in high gear.

“A lot of guys stepped it up today, but our depth made the big difference,” Brown said. “We played 12 guys in the first half and all of them were productive.”

HCC scored in waves to take control of the game.

Antonio Jenifer led the first onslaught as he scored six of his 15 points in an 11-2 run that gave the Hawks a 17-6 lead with 13:12 remaining in the first half. Malcolm Clark scored seven in a 10-0 run that allowed the Hawks to take a 41-25 lead with 4:29 remaining in the half en route to a 49-35 halftime lead.

“We did a decent job boxing them out, but we have to do better,” Brown said. “Rebounding is the end of the defensive process and we have to get the ball with both hands. It all comes down to defense.”

Frederick got to within 11 early in the second half before HCC reassumed control. The Hawks unloaded a 17-9 run to take a 72-53 lead with 10:00 remaining. Alister Chisholm capped a closing dash with 17 of his game-high 21 points — including two three-point plays and a 3 pointer — to stake the Hawks to a 99-71 advantage with 3:43 remaining.

Raymar Watson came off the bench to score 15 for HCC, while Clark finished with 14 and Jaylin Sharp and Devin Miller finished with 11 each.

Scott Johnson led Frederick with 18 points as HCC limited the Cougars to just one 3-pointer.

“We’re not going to get giddy over this,” Brown said. “I’ll just take the win, they can worry about the margin of victory. I keep telling them that we have to keep executing, and we don’t want to be looking at the scoreboard. We want to focus on making this team better.”

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