RIVERDALE -- Top-ranked Mount Hebron and No. 3 Old Mill advanced to the semifinals of the IAABO Christmas Invitational with quarterfinal victories yesterday at Parkdale High.
The Vikings (4-1) defeated Prince George's Oxon Hill, 57-44, and the Patriots (4-0) defeated Coolidge of Washington, 64-52.
Sophomore Emily Yanero led Mount Hebron with 26 points, hitting on 13 of 19 shots. The Vikings will meet Springbrook -- ranked No. 5 by The Washington Post -- in a semifinal tonight at 8.
But Mount Hebron may be without point guard Erica McCauley, who is suffering from a worsening case of bronchitis, said coach Dave Greenberg.
The IAABO Invitational hasn't been too kind to Greenberg and the Vikings the past couple of years. Last year, they lost to Springbrook in what Greenberg called their worst performance of the season. Now, they may be without their floor leader in the semifinals.
"We always seem to play poorly in the first game here," said Greenberg, referring to last year's defeat to Springbrook. "It was a horrible game, but we were able to turn it around and play well for the rest of the season. Hopefully, things will happen the same again."
It will be difficult without McCauley, who scored 11 points and had seven assists. The 5-foot-2 senior had an off night shooting, hitting on five of 16.
Her only three-pointer of the game, at the buzzer in the third quarter, gave Mount Hebron a 41-37 advantage. Then Yanero continued her hot shooting, making four consecutive jumpers, increasing the Vikings' lead to 49-41 with 5:28 remaining.
"We're an unselfish team, and we want the other to play well," said Yanero. "Because someone else may be going real good, we still play good team basketball."
The Vikings didn't play well defensively, though they outscored Oxon Hill by 29-15 in the second half. At times, Mount Hebron failed to show intensity in its man-to-man.
Trailing 26-18 late in the second quarter, the Vikings began turning up the pressure in closing the margin to 29-28 at halftime.
Mount Hebron went ahead, 34-31, before Oxon Hill scored the next four to reclaim the lead. Yanero hit the next two baskets for the Vikings, giving them a 38-36 lead.
In the second quarterfinal game, Old Mill struggled for most of the first three quarters before pulling away from Coolidge (3-4), and into a semifinal matchup with Bowie, ranked 14th by The Washington Post, today at 6 p.m.
Junior guard Stacey Himes led the Patriots with 17 points and six assists. Forward Debbie Dawson pulled down seven rebounds.
Old Mill found itself in an unaccustomed physical and uptempo battle with Coolidge, but it was able to slow things down and gain control.
"We got out of control and weren't playing our game," said Himes. "We were rushing passes and just weren't doing the right things. After halftime, we were able to get better ball movement and better shot opportunities."
At times, Himes, 5-10, seemed to be the only one in control on the court, scoring eight and handing out four assists in the second half.
What helped set up Old Mill's controlling of the pace was its domination on the boards, out-rebounding the Colts by 27-13 in the second half.
With the Patriots ahead, 43-42, Cindy Davenport (nine points) grabbed a missed free throw, hit the basket and was fouled, setting up a 7-1 run that increased their lead to 50-43 with 6:10 remaining.
"We were expecting this kind of physical competition here," said Old Mill coach Pat Chance. "A lot of these teams play more physical than what we normally see during the course of the season. We played well, though it did get out of hand in moments."