Oakland Mills Girls Stun Mount Hebron To Remain Perfect

January 20, 1991|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff writer

She had just put forth an all-out, 32-minute effort to lead her basketball team to arguably its biggest victory in school history, and yet Oakland Mills senior guard Mia Dammen looked ready to play another game.

Then again, the adrenalin the Scorpions were feeling after Friday night's 43-42 victory over defending county and Class 2A statechampion Mount Hebron probably had them all feeling somewhat refreshed.

Dammen had help, particularly from teammate Andrea Romich and a Hebron offense that shot a paltry 29 percent from the floor.

But Dammen, who scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds, had seven assistsand seven steals -- and all without a minute's rest -- was the thornthe Vikings couldn't shake. Her tireless performance featured numerous clutch plays that helped Oakland Mills build a 38-30 lead midway through the fourth quarter, then hold off a determined Hebron rally.

The Scorpions beat the Vikings for the first time in Hebron coach Dave Greenberg's 13-year tenure, and extended their perfect record to 11-0, 3-0 against the county. Oakland Mills also handed Hebron its first in-county defeat in nearly two years, dropping the Vikings to 2-1, 8-3 overall.

Oakland Mills coach Teresa Waters has expressed concern since the season's outset about the Scorpions' lack of bench experience. Friday night, while Greenberg was substituting freely with anine-player rotation that gave the Scorpions constantly changing looks, Waters stuck mostly with her starting five. Of those five, Dammenand Romich played the entire game.

Romich, a senior forward, was superb, doing most of her damage in the paint. She scored 16 points, grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds, had six steals, and scored the last two biggest baskets for Oakland Mills. Each basket came after the Vikings had closed to within a point during the final two minutes.

Point guard Stefanie Magro also contributed nine points, including a crucial four that increased a 34-30 Scorpions lead to 38-30 with 5 minutes, 5 seconds left in the game.

Dammen, however, caused baseline-to-baseline problems for Hebron all night with disruptive defense, timely rebounding, excellent passing and several outside shots that hurt the Vikings. Her stamina might have been the most impressive part of her game.

"It comes down to how much you want to win. It's desire," said Dammen, who has shown her endurance on the soccer field overand over again. She was the Howard County Sun's Player of the Year last fall.

"As far as preparing to play, this is the game," Dammen added. "We look forward to this kind of competition. I just wanted tohelp my team. They count on me for things."

"We don't expect her (Dammen) to get tired," said Greenberg. "She's a great athlete. They're a very athletic team. They put a lot of pressure on you. We didn'tshoot well, but part of that was because of their defensive pressure. They forced us into a lot of mistakes."

The Scorpions also did the unexpected by beating Hebron at largely a half-court game. OaklandMills applied its patented full-court pressure for the entire first quarter, but after Hebron beat it pretty easily and took a 13-9 lead at the end of the period, Waters decided to go with a half-court, man-to-man alignment for the rest of the night.

"I don't have the bench, and I didn't want them (the starters) tired out in the fourth quarter," Waters said. "We had to make adjustments."

And while Oakland Mills -- which got 41 of its 43 points from Dammen, Romich and Magro -- continued playing solid defense, Hebron (16-for-55) could not find any shooting groove, with the exception of forward Andrea Day and point guard Erica McCauley.

Day had a career night with 19 points and nine rebounds on 7-for-10 shooting from the floor and 5-for-6 shooting at the foul line. She scored the first six points in each half for Hebron. McCauley added 11 points, hitting three-of-five from three-point range.

The rest of the team struggled. Guards Christy McCauley and Cescili Drake were held scoreless on combined 0-for-14 shooting. Forward Kris Bryant (1-for-9) scored two points.

Despite its shooting woes, Hebron led much of the way, although never by more than six. The Vikings forced 16 first-half turnovers to take a 22-19 lead at intermission, and increased it to 28-22 with 5:19 to go in the third period on Day's 10-foot baseline shot.

The Scorpions then began their decisive run behind Dammen and Romich. A short bank shot by Romich, a layup by Magro off a Dammen assist and an 18-footer by Dammen tied the game at 28-28 with 2:50 left in the quarter. McCauley gave the Vikings a brief 30-28 lead. Romich hit a 14-footer to tie it again, and Dammen scored two baskets in the final 38 seconds of the period to give the Scorpions a 34-30 lead.

After Oakland Mills stretched the lead to 38-30, Day scored five unanswered points. After Dammen made a free throw, McCauley made her third three-pointer to pull Hebron to within 39-38 at the 3:00 mark. The Vikings got no closer.

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