Mount Hebron's walking wounded must have been inspire by coach Dave Greenberg.
The Vikings (24-2) won the girls state Class 2A basketball championship for the second straight year, downing Parkside, 60-52, Saturday at Catonsville Community College. It was the Vikings' fifth championship in the last six years and sixth title overall, tying now-defunct Brooklyn Park for the most state championships won.
Greenberg was at the hospital today for shoulder surgery, so he wasn't focusing just yet on the Vikings' quest for another state title next season. It's just as well, for only time and rest will heal sophomore Erica McCauley's back.
"The doctor told me I had to rest for at least three weeks," said McCauley, who regularly visits a sports therapist to relieve pain in her lower back. McCauley's sister, Christy, spent Friday night icing a painful ankle, but showed no ill effects in Saturday's victory.
"When I came out to warm up, I didn't think I could run on it," she said.
"Imagine," said Greenberg. "Here's a 5-foot-6 guard [Christy McCauley] who doesn't run or jump well on a good day. She's playing on a bad sprain, and she leads the team with six rebounds.
"And 'Little Sis' [Erica McCauley] gets 18 points after hardly practicing all week because of her back. She's the best pure point guard in the area."
Vikings senior Andrea Day grinned when asked about playing defense against Parkside's 6-3 center, Kesha Campbell, who will play for Maryland next fall. Campbell had 26 points and 12 rebounds.
"She was the tallest and hardest player I've faced defensively," said Day. But one player does not make a team.
"We don't have any players going to Maryland," said Greenberg, "but they believe in the system and play together.
"Take Andrea, for example. We ask her to play great defense and rebound. If she scores, she scores. She accepts that role and does it about as well as anyone. And she's got two state championship plaques."
Senior Cescili Drake is the Vikings' down-and-dirty leader. She had 12 points while hitting the floor for loose balls or sneaking into the lane to grab a critical rebound.
Freshman Emily Yanero came off the bench to score nine points and sophomores Kris Bryant and Sandra Benson combined for seven points and three rebounds.
"It's the team concept that wins for us," said Day.
The willingness to play hurt helps, too.
* In the Class 3A finals, DuVal defeated Oakland Mills, 60-42, to win its fourth title and first since 1982.
Oakland Mills (23-3) got 17 points from Mia Dammen, but missed the ballhandling of regular point guard Stefanie Magro, still recovering from an emergency appendectomy last weekend.
"I know the outcome would have been a lot different had Stefanie played," said coach Teresa Waters. "We just could not handle the pressure DuVal put on us."
DuVal was led by 6-3 Cheri Douglas (18 points, 12 rebounds), who will play at Rhode Island next fall.
* In the Class 1A finals, Westmar defended its title, downing North Caroline, 76-58.