HAGERSTOWN—Katie Sprecher is on a mission for the Hagerstown Community College women’s basketball team right now.
There is nothing secret about it. Actually, it’s all double talk.
Sprecher was the steadying force for the undermanned Hawks with 19 points and 16 rebounds to lead Hagerstown to a 64-55 victory over visiting Howard Community College on Wednesday in a Maryland JuCo Conference game.
“Katie’s consistent,” said Hagerstown coach Vicky Bullett. “She loves to rebound. She’s a beast in there. She isn’t big, but she uses her skills. She goes out and tries for 10 rebounds. Her goal is to get a double-double.”
And it was much needed for the Hawks, especially with a roster that has been ravaged by injuries and players dealing with personal problems. Hagerstown played with only six players, which is a recipe for disaster because of fouls and fatigue.
But the Hawks (6-10) were able to control the game and the tempo to hold off the Dragons and score their third straight victory.
“We only had six players. Some aren’t well and others are playing even though they don’t feel well,” Bullett said. “We are dwindling down, but we are fighting through.”
The Hawks needed some of the fight early in the first half to stay in the game.
Howard rallied early to come back from a 14-5 deficit with a 14-2 run for a 19-16 lead with 7:59 left before halftime. Hagerstown showed some early signs it might be tiring as a string of fouls put the Dragons at the line to come back.
Sprecher reentered the game after a break and started to assert herself. The Hawks took off whenever she touched the ball — be it by scoring, rebounding or passing.
Sprecher scored seven points down the stretch and dealt an assist to Katie Connolly for a hoop as Hagerstown led 31-28 at the half.
The Hawks distanced themselves from the Dragons to open the second half by scoring the first six points to take a 37-28 lead with 17:45 remaining.
Howard continued to challenge but couldn’t overcome the deficit. Hagerstown came out of the 1-2-2 zone it played most of the game to push the tempo in the last seven minutes to seal the game.
“We have to work the time and score right now,” Bullett said. “We have to use the clock and move without the ball.”
Hagerstown closed the game with a 7-2 run — mostly from the foul line — to ice the game in the final 1:30.
Kristine Mstowski added 14 points and four steals for the Hawks, while Tiffany Wallace had 12 points.
Lakeisha Taylor led Howard with 12 points.
Hagerstown 64, Howard 55
HOWARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Pinckney 9, Jones 7, Preston 8, Kimbell 4, Taylor 12, Dest-forrester 11, Hight 2, Todd 2. 20 13-17 55.
HAGERSTOWN COM. COLLEGE (6-10)
Taylor 4, Connolly 9, Adams 6, Mstowski 14, Sprecher 19, Wallace 12. Totals 22 20-32 64.
Halftime – HCC, 31-28. 3-point goals – Howard 2 (Pinckney, Dest-Forrester). Technical fouls — Howard 2 (Hight, bench), HCC 1 (Wallace).