Mount Hebron clinched a tie for its 12th county championship in 14 seasons and asserted itself as the area's top-ranked team last night by crushing No. 4 Howard, 72-29.
The host Vikings (12-0, 19-1), staging what Dave Greenberg called their best performance of the season, extended their winning streak to 19 games by controlling the Lions (10-2, 17-3) in every phase of the game.
The Vikings manhandled Howard defensively. They forced 26 turnovers and limited the Lions, who entered the game averaging 56 points, to their lowest offensive output of the season. Hebron dominated the boards with a 41-17 rebounding advantage. And the Vikings ran their offense flawlessly, particularly during a 43-point second half that saw Hebron turn a 29-16 halftime cushion into a rout.
"We were trying to feel like we were the underdogs," said Hebron junior forward Sandra Benson, who scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds. "That makes us work harder. We're a team that always has to work. We can't go out there and play at half speed."