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Men's Basketball lost home court advantage to Central Penn College (Herald-Mail Media Story)

Men's Basketball lost home court advantage to Central Penn College (Herald-Mail Media Story)

The stands were fuller than usual for a Hagerstown Community College basketball game.

It wasn't because the Hawks are catching fire.

On Wednesday night the bigger turnout was for a pair of local players on the visiting team.

 

North Hagerstown graduate Noah Baylor and Broadfording product Henson Ujoh helped Central Penn College to a 84-73 win.

Baylor, now a 6-foot-8 senior, scored 15 points, grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, distributed four assists and played a major role defensively, blocking a shot and changing many others in the second half when the Knights pulled away. 

Ujoh, a 6-4 freshman, scored six points, hitting each of his three shots coming off the bench for Central Penn, which improved to 13-4.

HCC (7-13) got off to a strong start, leading by as many as seven points in the first half, but withered after intermission and lost for the eighth time in its last nine games.

Freshman Dwight Felton (22 points) and sophomore Rodney Black (21 points) led the Hawks.

HCC's quick start was ignited by 3-pointers from Felton and Raphael Castillo (eight points). Consecutive runners by Malik Moore (nine points) got the Hawks a 12-6 lead.

Central Penn took its first lead midway through the first half thanks to 3-pointers by Tyler White (23 points) and Marquel Wansley (eight points).

HCC retaliated with an 11-1 run, fueled by 3-pointers from Felton and Moore and finished off by a fast-break slam-dunk by Black.

Down 26-19, Central Penn called a timeout to regroup and the strategy paid off. The Knights went on a nine-point spree that included four free throws by Baylor.

 

Central Penn took control of the game in a stretch that bridged the halves.

The 17-3 run was propelled by a trio of 3-pointers from White and included a slam dunk from Joel Zola. The spree gave the Knights a 50-34 lead early in the second half.

HCC made a late charge in the final 1:40, whittling a 16-point deficit in half behind the scrappy work of Black.

But after taking out Baylor — the team's second-leading scorer (14.7 ppg) and top rebounder (11.4 pg) and shot blocker (1.6 pg) — Central Penn rushed him back in and the Knights closed it out.

Judging from the half-hour long postgame locker room session of Central Penn, the team's braintrust wasn't happy with the performance.

"Our coach was mad about our tempo," said Ujoh. "We had to pick up the pace and work the ball as a team. I was happy we got it together and got the win."