HAGERSTOWN—There were a pair of North Hagerstown High School graduates who had a nice homecoming on Saturday night.
Freshman guard Kirksten Mitchell and sophomore forward LaRae Allen combined to score 18 points during the first half to help the Allegany Trojans build a 40-17 halftime lead over the Hagerstown Community College Hawks.
That sent the Trojans on their way to a 78-58 victory over the Hawks in a Maryland JuCo Conference women’s basketball game at the HCC athletic complex.
Mitchell finished with game-high totals of 19 points and 11 rebounds for Allegany (15-2, 6-1).
“I was just confident in my shooting,” Mitchell said. “I just felt like that I had some open shots.”
Allen ended up with 13 points for the Trojans.
“Right now, we have all the chemistry that we need as a team,” Allen said. “We just have to play our basketball consistently.”
Point guard Ashleigh Fossett had 13 points and six assists, while forward Tamara Nesmith added 12 points, seven rebounds and four steals for the Trojans.
“We just wanted to come out and play hard for 40 minutes,” Allegany coach Garett Sherman said. “That is our strategy every night. We played hard in the first half. But then we let up on defense in the second half. We didn’t come out with the same intensity in the second half after we had the big lead at halftime. In the first half, our defense was tremendous.”
Nesmith scored the first three baskets as the Trojans raced out to a 10-0 lead during the first three minutes of the game.
Fossett canned a 3-pointer to give Allegany its biggest lead of the first half at 40-11 with three minutes remaining.
HCC scored the last six points of the first half to reduce the deficit to 40-17 at halftime.
The Hawks made a respectable showing during the second half by outscoring the Trojans 41-38 to cut the final margin to 78-58.
During the second half, Tashia Caldwell scored 12 of her team-high 14 points and Alessandra Flores scored 10 of her 12 points for HCC (14-5, 6-4). Yolanda Pinkcett pulled down 11 rebounds, while Tiarra Rogers and Turquoia Johnson grabbed nine rebounds each for the Hawks.
“It was a tale of two halves,” HCC coach Marlys Palmer said. “In the first half, we shot 3-for-36 for eight percent. We’re not that strong of an offensive team, but 3-for-36 was colder than the weather outside. But we came out and played a great second half. We won the second half. But you can’t just win one half. That was the worst offensive game that we have had all year. But the second half was the best offensive half that we have had all year.”
Allegany 78, HCC 58
ALLEGANY (15-2, 6-1)
T. Bosley 1 0-0 3, Fossett 5 1-1 13, Mustaf 1 1-2 4, Chisley 3 2-4 8, Nesmith 5 2-2 12, Allen 6 1-2 13, Mitchell 7 3-3 19, Tharpe 3 0-0 6. Totals 31 10-14 78.
HCC (14-5, 6-4)
Johnson 3 3-4 9, Jackson 2 3-4 8, Brown 1 0-0 2, Rogers 1 2-3 4, Caldwell 4 3-3 14, Pinkcett 4 1-3 9, Flores 3 4-6 12. Totals 18 16-23 58.
Halftime: Allegany 40-17. 3-point field goals: Allegany 6 (T. Bosley, Fossett 2, Mustaf, Mitchell 2); HCC 6 (Jackson, Caldwell 3, Flores 2).