By: Dr. Richard Midcap
Watson scores 32, Hinton adds 21 as Lakers improve to 6-0
McHENRY – Down to eight active players, the Lakers quickly found themselves down 12 points to visiting Hagerstown Community College Tuesday night in their Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference men's basketball opener.
The Lakers proved to be down, but not out, thanks to large part to Ariel Watson and Ray Hinton. Watson scored a game-high 32 points and Hinton added 21 points with 7 rebounds as Garrett College rallied for an 88-72 win and improved to 6-0.
"In the beginning we just couldn't find any rhythm," said Garrett head coach Dennis Gibson, whose team managed to pull ahead by 44-40 at the half. "In Maryland JuCo, you can't underestimate any team – and that [Hagerstown] team is a very talented team."
Gibson credited his team with "stepping up and forcing Hagerstown into a lot of mistakes" while also praising the spark provided by Watson.
"Ariel was Ariel – he just makes things happen," said Gibson, whose roster was depleted by three one-game suspensions coming out of Saturday's win against Niagara County Community College.
David Walls also played a key role offensively for the Lakers with 15 points, including a pair of back-breaking 3-pointers in the second half, while Jermaine Samuel added 13 points. Simun Kovac only scored 2 points, but led the Lakers in rebounds (11) and steals (3).
Nelson Richardson had 2 points and dished out 4 assists for Garrett.
Malcolm Moye led Hagerstown with 21 points. Theo Braddy, Jr. added 19 and Ke'Sean Robinson chipped in 15 for the winless Hawks (0-6 overall, 0-3 league).
Garrett is off until next Tuesday when the Lakers travel to Westmoreland County Community College for a 7 p.m. contest. The Lakers then host Allegany College of Maryland next Wednesday in another 7 p.m. game against the equally unbeaten Trojans (6-0, 2-0).