Parasiliti: HCC strives to be great

November 27, 2011|By BOB PARASILITI |
  • Bob Parasiliti
Bob Parasiliti

The word good is only as good as one makes it.

By definition, good has so many meanings and uses.

So, here are the goods aimed at a greater good.

Simply stated, when I watch the Hagerstown Community College men’s basketball team, I see the makings of a good team. Coach Barry Brown has assembled a good group of athletes who have all the favorable — or good — talents to be very successful.

How sound — or good — the Hawks will be depends on how well they work for the common good.

Brown has had a good feeling about this team from the start of practice. The Hawks are from a prime cut of good basketball talent, which means they have positive skills, talents and physical attributes.

The trick has been getting these Hawks to fight the good fight. It’s a battle while following the road of good intentions with good, solid basketball principles as ammunition.

The goal is a good and solid foundation for success.

To this point, HCC is defined as a high-quality group with satisfactory skills and dependable abilities. In other words, those are all adjectives that mean good.

Brown sees this group as a good mix of talents that, if combined with a well-laid plan of attack, could be really good. In Brown’s eyes, it comes down to instilling some traditional basketball fundamentals — rebounding, foul shooting and defense — to a group of players who are used to life in the fast-break lane.

Past HCC teams have used that modified street-ball, run-and-gun style to overwhelm the lesser opponents. It has meant 20-win seasons and good showings in the Maryland JuCo Conference and Region XX.

The problem with the racehorse-style of play is it has been nosed out at the finish line. There has always been a national caliber team who plays it a little better while lacing it with stronger rebounding, better foul shooting and valuable periods of unforgiving defense. They have been better than just good.

Team defense will be the key for HCC this season. The trick is to convince the Hawks the plan has good intentions.

It started as the Hawks won their first six games. They did it, despite experiencing growing pains, by evening the score with teams that had beaten them last year.

Those are good things.

The biggest early test came Saturday, though, when the Hawks faced Monroe (Bronx, N.Y.) College, the elected top-ranked junior college basketball team. The Mustangs had defeated HCC in March, eliminating the Hawks at the final stop before the national tournament.

Saturday’s game ended as a 20-point loss, partially because HCC abandoned the plan and reverted back to old ways. The Hawks ran head first into Monroe’s defense instead of working to outplay it.

The loss was only the first test.  HCC is still a good team that is a product of individuals.

Devin Miller is a shooter. Alister Chisholm is an opportunist with grit. Tione Womack is the glue. Jarel Carter is a disruptive force in the backcourt. Antonio Jenifer is as good around the basket as any Hawk has been in many years. Raymar Watson brings edgy aggression to the team.

That just names a few as every player brings something different and needed to the Hawks. It comes down to using it all in a team concept.

So far, the Hawks have shown they are good on a 94-foot court.

The difference — and how they play against great teams — will be a matter of how well they deal with the six inches between their eardrums.

Belief in team, ability and defense together is the difference between good and great.

By definition, the word great has so many meanings and uses.

Great is only as great as one makes it.

Bob Parasiliti is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-791-7358 or

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