RIVERDALE -- Defense may be the forte for Mount Hebron, but its offense is just as consistent.
Last night, the top-ranked Vikings displayed that in their 60-41 win over No. 3 Old Mill in the championship game of the IAABO Christmas Invitational at Parkdale High.
Junior forward Kris Bryant scored a game-high 22 points for Mount Hebron (6-1). Sophomore guard Emily Yanero added 13, and junior guard Erica McCauley had 12 and was voted the tournament's outstanding player.
Bryant's performance was in line with the Vikings' unselfish approach. In the previous two tournament contests, Yanero and McCauley were the leading point producers.
"We work individually on our offense," said Bryant. "In practice, defense is first, so it is really up to us to work on our offensive skills."
Coach Dave Greenberg said that only about 15 minutes of Mount Hebron's practices are dedicated to offense. But what the Vikings have done so far has been successful.
The Vikings' man-to-man defense has assisted in producing five state championships during the past six seasons. Last night, they put on another good defensive showing against Old Mill, the defending 4A champ.
The Patriots shot only 16 of 61, which was a slight improvement over Friday, when they connected on only 15 of 76 in their semifinal victory over Bowie.
"They played excellent defense," said Old Mill coach Pat Chance.
Using passing around the perimeter to open the inside with Bryant and or to get open outside shots, Mount Hebron hit on 25 of 49 from the field.
With 15 of 30 shooting, the Vikings assembled a 35-18 halftime advantage on the Patriots (5-1), and it was no smaller than 15 in the second half.