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Men's Basketball: Clerius silences Dundalk's big gun in Hawks' victory

February 12, 2013|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com
  • Hagerstown's Kervin Rameau (33) tries to pick up the charging call against Dundalk's Kamani Jordan on Tuesday.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Donte Thomas had the numbers for the Hagerstown Community College men’s basketball team on Tuesday, but Jean Eddy Clerius had the only one that really counted.

It was Dundalk No. 23 — Devin Colston.

Thomas and Colston hooked up in a 3-point shooting exhibition until Clerius ended the showdown with some good, ol’ fashioned defense to keep the ball from the nation’s top scorer in NJCAA Division II.

It was all the Hawks needed to pull away for an 83-66 victory over the Lions on Tuesday in a Maryland JuCo Conference tournament play-in game at HCC’s athletic complex.

“Donte stepped to the 3-point line and had a tremendous shooting night,” HCC coach Barry Brown said. “He had that shooter’s look about him today, but Jean Eddy is the one who broke their momentum. He didn’t let (Colston) touch the ball.”

Both teams played bombardier basketball, using long distance 3-point shooting as the bulk of the offense as 36 of the first 50 combined points of the game came from behind the arc.

Thomas hit three of his five 3s in the game early and Kervin Rameau added a pair of baskets to stake second-seeded HCC (23-4) to an early 15-3 lead at the 13:57 mark.

“Once I started by hitting the first one, I knew I was on,” Thomas said. “I was trying to match (Colston). I could see what he could do, and they thought I couldn’t shoot. I just started moving around their zone and looked for open spots.”

Dundalk (9-17), the 15th seed, made its first seven baskets from long range — including three by Colston, who leads the nation with a 27.1 scoring average — to tie the game at 21-21 with 7:43 remaining in the half.

That’s when Brown elected to put Clerius in the game in a bomb squad capacity. In fact, he practiced on Monday to prepare to take on Dundalk’s Mad Bomber.

“We knew they were going to play a box-and-1 defense against (Tony) Jenifer, so we practiced for it and used Jean Eddy in the role during practice,” Brown said. “He did a great job, so we knew about (Colston) and decided we would put (Clerius) on him.”

Clerius put in a four-minute shift against Colston after Colston tied the game at 21. Clerius worked as a roadblock, keeping Colston away from the ball and the Lions suffered.

HCC started a 13-0 run over the next 4 1/2 minutes to take a 34-21 lead with 3:06 remaining in the half, ignited by eight points by Christian Leach, including two 3s.

“I’m used to playing man defense,” Clerius said. “I just tried to keep him away from the ball, contest his shot and put a hand in his face. For the time I was in there, I thought I played good defense ... the whole team did.”

Colston didn’t score again until he collected a putback at the 16:41 mark of the second half — 11 minutes later — and didn’t hit another 3 until 10:02 was remaining — a drought of 17:41.

“Jean Eddy set the tone,” Brown said. “Jerel Carter guarded Colston some and did a good job, but Jean Eddy is the type of kid that goes in there and does what is needed to help the team.”

By the time Colston hit his next 3, HCC was up 60-40 and was slowly pulling away as the Hawks dominated the 3-point airways.

Dundalk turned to Kamani Jordan ad Rowland Hailey to pick up the scoring slack, but the Hawks equaled their output and topped them. The Lions got as close as 68-54 with 6:15 remaining, but the Hawks then put the game away, closing with a 15-12 burst.

HCC won the 3-point battle 16-12. Thomas scored a game-high 25 points, while Rameau added 22 and Leach had 13, each with three 3s. Jenifer, who leads the Hawks with 20.8 points per game, was held to two with 10 rebounds.

Colston finished with 19 points, eight below his average, for the Lions, while Jordan scored 21, with three 3s, and Hailey added 14 points, with four 3s.

With the victory, HCC moves into the tournament quarterfinals against Howard on Friday at noon at Harford Community College.


Hagerstown 83, Dundalk 66
CCBC-DUNDALK (9-17)
Jordan 9 0-0 21, Love 1 2-2 4, Brooks-Thompson 2 2-2 6, Colston 7 0-0 19, Hailey 45 0-0 14, Knezovic 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 4-4 66.
HAGERSTOWN (23-4)
Carter 3 -12 7, Jenifer 0 2-4 2, Clerius 1 0-1 3, Leach 4 2-2 13, Christy 1 0-2 2, Thomas 9 1-1 25, Pittman 3 0-0 9, Rameau 9 1-1 22. Totals 30 7-13 83.
Halftime — HCC 38, Dundalk 27. 3-point goals — Dundalk 12 (Colston 5, Hailey 4, Jordan 3), HCC 16 (Thomas 6, Leach 3, Pittman 3, Rameau 3, Clerius). Fouled out — Brooks-Thompson.

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