Mount Hebron's girls basketball team brought its stingy defense to bear on visiting Glenelg last night, and the Vikings also rediscovered their shooting touch.
That combination produced a 59-47 Mount Hebron victory in Howard County action.
The third-ranked Vikings (9-3, 3-1), the defending county and Class 2A state champions, bounced back from Friday's 43-42 loss to No. 2 Oakland Mills, when Hebron shot 29 percent from the field in its first county defeat in two years.
The offense recovered impressively against Glenelg (8-3, 2-2). Hebron caught fire midway through the first half with a barrage of outside shots to build a 30-21 halftime lead. The Vikings then forced seven Glenelg turnovers and outscored the Gladiators, 20-10, in the third period to blow the game open.
Hebron hit 23 of 55 shots (42 percent) and was led by sophomore point guard Erica McCauley with a game-high 20 points -- including four three-point field goals in five attempts. She added six assists and six steals and did not commit a turnover. Guard Christy McCauley and forward Kris Bryant each scored nine for Hebron. Bryant had six rebounds.
Kara Meissner led Glenelg with 14 points. Tanissa Dorsey added 12 and three assists.
"I feel better because we were executing the offense better than we did Friday night," said Hebron coach Dave Greenberg. "I was more concerned with our defensive pressure, but I got happy in the third quarter, when we turned it up defensively and put them away. Erica really played well. She's really good."
Hebron stumbled out of the gate, missing four of its first five shots, before Erica McCauley got the offense rolling. Her 18-footer in the closing seconds of the first period gave the Vikings a 9-8 lead and started an 11-2 run that McCauley ended with her first three-pointer to give Hebron an 18-10 lead with 5 minutes, 53 seconds left in the half.
Hebron overwhelmed the Gladiators in the third quarter. Glenelg was able to close the gap to 33-25 on a layup by Dorsey with 4:52 to go, but the Vikings answered with a 13-2 run, highlighted by Christy McCauley's 19-footer and two three-pointers from 22-foot range by Erica McCauley. The second shot gave Hebron a 46-27 lead with 1:47 left in the period.
"Every time we lose, we play 10 times better the next time," Erica McCauley said. "Everyone is working harder because we know we've got something to prove. Tonight I was just coming off good screens, and all I had to do was release the ball."