HAGERSTOWN — Allegany College put the Hagerstown Community College men’s basketball team to the test on Monday.
The Hawks failed. In fact, they didn’t even looked like they studied.
The Trojans took the game to HCC by taking it away from the Hawks from the start, controlling the tempo and flow to methodically scratch out a 86-78 Maryland JuCo Conference victory at the HCC athletic complex.
Allegany’s exam came in three parts and HCC acted like it needed CliffsNotes to have a clue.
“We didn’t play consistent defense, we didn’t rebound well and we didn’t make our foul shots,” said HCC coach Barry Brown. It all comes down to defense, rebounding and foul shooting and we failed to come through on all three today.”
The most telling of the three failures came from the foul line, where HCC was 6 for 19 for the game.
The Trojans (11-7, 7-2 JuCo) handed HCC its first conference loss by slowing the game down and essentially allowed the Hawks (15-3, 9-1) to beat themselves. Allegany’s defense created congestion that just made the Hawks trip over their own feet.
“We wanted to control the tempo,” said Allegany coach Mike Baker. “We wanted to slow it down and play our game while limiting them to one shot.”
Allegany held off HCC as 6-foot-8 center Darnell Turner patrolled the middle of the floor. Turner finished with 20 points, most coming in the first half as the Hawks had trouble handling his size.
“They kept getting second and third shots, especially in the first half,” Brown said. “We didn’t rebound so we could get out on the break. Allegany had 24 points in the paint in the first half and 16 or 18 came on second or third shots.”
HCC held two early leads in the first half before chasing Allegany to intermission. The Trojans took a 28-19 lead with 4:51 remaining, keyed by six straight points by Turner.
Antonio Jenifer score six straight to get the Hawks within 32-30, but Allegany’s Casey Roberts scored four straight to give the Trojans a 36-32 halftime lead.
The Hawks tried to increase the pace in the second half, but Allegany was equal to the task. Guard Sam Dale took scoring duties from Turner, notching all 19 of his points in the final 20 minutes, effectively keeping HCC from making any decisive runs.
The Hawks moved into four ties, the last coming at 52-all with 10:41 remaining on a Devin Miller 3-pointer. The Hawks took a couple of small leads, but failed to pull away.
Allegany ended HCC’s advantage with seven minutes remaining as the Trojans went on a 23-12 run over the next 6 1/2 minutes to take a 81-71 lead with :30 remaining.
HCC tried to come back with long-range shooting — hitting 12 3s in the game — but it was too much to overcome.
The Hawks milked the clock in the final 30 seconds with fouls. Jerel Carter hit a 3 with 6.5 second remaining to get HCC within 84-76, but the Hawks ran out of time.
Roberts joined Turner with 20 points to lead Allegany. Jenifer led HCC with 22 points, while Miller finished with 20, including four 3s.
“We only had 19 foul shots tonight and that means we weren’t being very aggressive,” Brown said. “That’s not good. I give Allegany a lot of credit for what they did. We will play them again and we might have a shot at them in the JuCo tournament and Region XX. We have a lot of work to do if we are going to beat them.”
Allegany 86, HCC 76
ALLEGANY COLLEGE (11-7, 7-2)
Dale 19, Day 2, Jones 3, Johnson 2, Mosley 12, Roberts 20, Tillman 8, Turner 20. Totals 32 11-19 88.
HAGERSTOWN COMM. COLLEGE (15-3, 9-1)
Womack 8, Carter 7, Chisholm 13, Miller 20, Jenifer 22, Boyd 3, Pittman 5. Totals 30 6-19 78.
Halftime — Allegany 36, HCC 32. 3-point goals — Allegany 7 (Dale 4, Roberts 3), HCC 12 (Miller 4, Womack 2, Chisholm 2, Jenifer 2, Carter, Pittman). Fouled out — Womack.