Even though his team was facing a short-staffed Hagerstown Community College squad on Saturday, Frederick Community College men’s basketball coach Chris Lewis didn’t change his plans.
The host Cougars got into their patented up-tempo style of play right from the get-go, rolling past the Hawks 102-79 for their fourth win in their past five outings.
Complacency was not an option for FCC (11-4) on Saturday, even though HCC (6-9) dressed just five players, missing five others. Three were out to due injuries. Two more are ineligible for academic reasons, HCC officials said.
“If you get complacent, getting caught up in what’s going on with the other team, you put yourself in a situation where you might lose the game,” Lewis said. “The key is you have to stay focused, stay on your game no matter what.”
FCC did just that, although it did have a rough start Saturday.
The Hawks scored the first five points of the game before the Cougars went on a 7-0 run to erase the early deficit, taking an 7-5 lead with 15 minutes, 39 seconds to go in the first half. Christian Knox, who had a team-high 23 points for FCC, hit the go-ahead bucket.
Knox agreed that paying less attention to the other team’s issues and concentrating on what your team is doing is important.
“What really matters is how you make yourself better as a team,” he said.
The Cougars did not relinquish the lead the rest of the game. FCC got its first 10-point lead with five minutes to go in the first half. CJ Williams buried a 3-pointer, which gave the Cougars a 33-23 lead. FCC held a 47-36 lead at the half.
The Cougars led by as many as 27 in the second half.
Saturday’s game took nearly two hours to complete. Since HCC had no substitutes, there were multiple stoppages due to some Hawks players going down with leg cramps.
There were a combined 38 fouls called Saturday, 26 against FCC. Four players picked up three fouls. Domantas Sakickas fouled out late in the game.
Lewis said he liked how the Cougars responded to the seemingly endless restart situations, not allowing them to disrupt their up-tempo style.
FCC prides itself on balanced scoring. Six players reached double figures, including Knox.
Williams had 15 points. Sackickas had 12. Devon Knaub, Elijah White and AJ Gregory each had 11.
Kyshon Tate had a game-high 29 points for HCC (6-9). Raphael Castillo had 23. Jason Wiggins had 13. Malik Moore had 10.
FCC women 68, HCC 47
Amiah Banks had a game-high 25 points for FCC (11-4), who only had five players available for Saturday’s game. Two are injured, and one is not currently eligible to play, FCC officials said.
Makaala Ambush had 16 points for the Cougars. Makenzie Crigger had 14. Nia Powell had 13.