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Men's Basketball: Womack makes point from point for HCC

February 17, 2012|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

FREDERICK, Md. — Tione Womack took on the role of conductor for the Hagerstown Community College men’s basketball team on Friday.

It has sort have been the sophomore point guard’s job for most of the season, but this time he not only got the Hawks all aboard for a victory, he even punched the ticket.

Womack played his best game of the season with 13 points and 13 assists in a 105-82 pasting of Montgomery-Rockville in the Maryland JuCo Conference tournament quarterfinals at Frederick Community College.

“We’ve started a new journey now and this was the first step,” Womack said. “We want to get to nationals. It was my job to be the coach on the floor ... to listen to the coaches and get us in our offense. We made their defense work and we were getting mismatches all night.”

Womack moved a little more center stage for HCC (24-4) because of a scary incident at the 5:34 mark of the first half when Hawks sparkplug Alister Chisholm came up lame.

Chisholm made a steal at halfcourt and drove for an uncontested layup. But, while still making the decision on how he was going to finish the play, his left foot slipped and then stuck to the floor, sending him down in a heap.

Chisholm got up limping and was helped to the sideline. Trainers looked at his ankle and then his knee, wrapping it with ice for the rest of the first half. He sat out the rest of the game.

“Alister is a big part of our offense and defense,” Womack said. “Every team has that one guy who goes out and doesn’t give up and that’s Al. I went over and told him that ‘I got your back.’ He and Jerel (Carter) are my counterparts and we pick each other up.”

Chisholm’s defense helped ignite a 19-3 HCC run 4 1/2 minutes into the game to expand a one-point lead to a 29-12 advantage with 10:30 to go in the half. Womack scored five points while Antonio Jenifer notched the final four of the run.

“Alister didn’t play much, but he got us started against one of the hottest teams in the conference,” HCC coach Barry Brown said. “But Tione set the tone. Offensively, he was very positive throughout the game. He stepped in there and took big shots against a some of the fastest guards in the conference.

“Everything we do, it all starts with Tione. He’s the one who makes us go.”

After pushing out to the 17-point lead, it became a game of managing the lead for the Hawks. The Knights got as close as 37-27 right before Chisholm went down, but never got any closer.

Without Chisholm, every HCC player picked up a little piece of the slack to keep the Hawks moving forward.

“Everyone on the bench had a hand in this,” Brown said. “That’s why we have played the bench all year. There have been some times we have suffered for it, but we did it to get ready for times like this.

“We worked the ball and made the extra effort to establish ourselves inside. Devin (Miller), Jenifer and (Raymar Watson) got inside and really hit the glass.”

After Chisholm left, HCC closed with a 13-9 run to take a 53-36 halftime lead. Womack took control and took the ball inside against Rockville’s defense in what resulted in an easy bucket for himself or a dish to Jenifer or Miller to keep HCC in command.

The Hawks led by as much as 30 late in the game before settling for the victory to advance to today’s 5 p.m. game with fourth-seeded Baltimore in the semifinals.

Miller led HCC with 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Jenifer finished with 18 points and eight rebounds.

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