Bad timing is something that Mount Hebron coach Dave Greenberg should be used to, and he got another dose of it during the weekend, as Mount Hebron overcame injuries to two key players to win its second consecutive Class 2A state championship at Catonsville Community College on Saturday.
Erica McCauley's back problem flared up again last week, which limited her practice time. But, although she said she was in pain, McCauley scored 31 points in two games during the weekend, including 18 in a 60-52 victory over Parkside in the championship game. Her sister, Christy, twisted her ankle in Friday's semifinal, hampering her mobility in the championship game.
Last season, the Vikings -- who have won five state titles in six years -- won the Class 2A state title without point guard Amy Eberhart, who went down with a knee injury in the region final and was unavailable for the state semifinals.
"The things we do in practice -- stressing fundamentals and defense -- allows us to play a lot of different kids during the season," Greenberg said. "Things don't always work out, but when we have adversity, the other kids are prepared to step in and do a good job."
The Mount Hebron players wore black patches on their uniforms during the weekend in memory of Andrea Barlow, a Centennial student who died on March 3 from massive head injuries suffered in a car crash on March 1. Her mother, Joan, is an English teacher at Mount Hebron.
When an Old Mill player came to the bench after making a mistake this season, coach Pat Chance could be overheard saying things such as: "That was a stupid mistake, but you're young. You'll learn."
Apparently, the Patriots' underclassmen learned fast. With a team composed of six sophomores, five juniors and two seniors, Old Mill showed remarkable poise in Saturday's Class 4A state final. Old Mill squandered a 20-point halftime lead, then rallied to lead and held on for a 53-51 victory over Springbrook.
"They improved on a lot of things that they did the first part of the season," Chance said. "One of the key things is that we worked on controlling the ball. When you get in a run-run-run situation, one person has to get the team under control. We were able to do that at the end of the year."
Oakland Mills' quest for its first state title ended with a 60-42 loss to DuVal in the Class 3A state championship game on Saturday.
DuVal's defensive pressure and height advantage proved too much for the Scorpions, who were without Stefanie Magro, their point guard, who underwent an appendectomy on March 2. Oakland Mills committed 37 turnovers and pulled down just five offensive rebounds.
A lack of depth also hurt Oakland Mills, which stayed with its starting five most of the game. DuVal rotated nine players, and its bench outscored the Scorpions', 12-0.
Parkside's Kesha Camper, who has signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Maryland, turned in two outstanding performances during the weekend.
She made 24 of 36 field-goal attempts (67 percent), scored 57 and grabbed 27 rebounds.
Although her team lost to Westmar, 76-58, in the Class 1A state final on Saturday, North Caroline's Ty Foster made eight three-point field goals in two games, breaking the record of seven set by Thomas Johnson's Debbie Martin last season.
Foster made all five of North Caroline's three-pointers in the championship game. Westmar made six three-pointers in that game, and the two teams were a combined 11-for-26 from three-point range.