By BOB PARASILITI
11:33 PM EST, February 6, 2013
The Hagerstown Community College men’s basketball team proved you can’t lose a game in the first half.
And you can survive a setback at the end of regulation.
But in overtime, it has to be winning time. And for the Hawks on Wednesday, it wasn’t.
Baltimore’s Sean Farr drove the lane for an acrobatic, highly contested layup with 3 seconds remaining in the extra period to defeat HCC 81-79 in the men’s half of a basketball doubleheader at the HCC athletic center.
HCC’s women defeated Baltimore 65-52 in the opener.
The Hawks (22-3, 13-2) not only lost the game, but they also dropped their chance at a third straight Maryland JuCo Conference regular-season title in the loss. And they did it by playing very disjointed the entire game.
“Baltimore beat us in the way we usually win games,” said HCC coach Barry Brown. “They executed. We didn’t defend and rebound, and our offense was very impatient as guys started to think they could do things by themselves, which played into the strong defense Baltimore was playing.”
It was an early mess that HCC cleaned up by halftime, looked to be in control late in the game only to survive a 30-second effort to score the final basket by the Panthers (18-8, 14-1).
Baltimore (18-8, 14-1) took a 12-0 lead in the first 4 1/2 minutes in the game before Jerel Carter scored on a 15-foot jumper at the 15:22 mark to get the Hawks on the board.
HCC spent the rest of the half getting back into the game and trailed just 36-35 at the intermission.
“We were in a 12-point hole to start the game against a very good team and used a lot of energy to get back into it,” Brown said. “Then we got a lead and didn’t play our game.”
Kervin Remeau scored the first five points of the second half to give HCC a 40-36 lead, but the Hawks couldn’t stand the prosperity.
The game see-sawed to three ties before the Hawks ran off a 9-0 run to take a 60-52 lead with 7:13 remaining on a Christian Leach layup.
Baltimore battled back to tie the game at 69 on a power move by Farr with 47 seconds remaining in regulation. HCC turned the ball over with 33 seconds left, and then prevented Baltimore from scoring the winning basket in regulation.
HCC took an early 72-69 in overtime and then came back to tie twice, the final time at 79 on a Donte Thomas drive.
Again with 30 seconds to kill, the Panthers worked for the final shot, resulting in Fair’s power move to the basket. HCC worked the ball to Leach for a 20-foot 3 at the buzzer that bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.
Xavier Richards led Baltimore with 15 points.
Thomas topped HCC with 21.
“This wasn’t a JuCo tournament game and It wasn’t a region game, but I still don’t like to lose,” Brown said. “We have been on a roll and now we lost one. We have to see if we can come back like a team to play in the big games. And believe me, the big games are about to come.”
— HCC women’s coach Vicky Bullett didn’t like it, but the Hawks were in the zone in the opener.
Sounds like a contradiction, but HCC’s Plan B brought on its ‘A’ game.
HCC went into a 2-3 zone defense late in the first half and stalled Baltimore’s offense to claim a 65-52 Maryland JuCo Conference victory.
“We finally beat a good team,” Bullett said. “I like to play man defense, but sometimes you have to go with what you need with the players you have. Baltimore’s guards were too fast and we didn’t have anyone to match up with them.”
Instead, the Hawks (10-12, 5-5) walled the Panthers out.
The game was tied at 14 when Hawks moved into the zone with 11:00 left in the half. The move forced the Panthers (10-14, 5-6) to the perimeter, where they have trouble scoring and took former North Hagerstown star Iman Scott out of the rotation.
HCC closed the half on a 16-5 run to take a 32-19 lead at the intermission.
“We have a big back line and we tried to contain them,” Bullett said. “We had to keep the ball from Scott. She’s really been playing well and scoring a lot. We saw that they didn’t shoot the 3 well, so we decided to take our chances.”
HCC took control of the inside with Tiffany Wallace’s power moves and Katie Sprecher’s rebounding to help the Hawks pull away.
The Hawks led by as many as 20 points in the second half, but just needed to play Baltimore even in the second half.
Sprecher led four HCC scorers in double figures with 16 points, while Kristine Mstowski added 14 and Wallace had 13.
Tiara France led Baltimore with 21 points. Scott finished with eight.
HCC will host Garrett in a makeup game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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