The county's girls basketball season had a predictable ending with some memorable twists.
First of all, Mount Hebron was true to form.The Vikings, showing their unique brand of grinding, man-to-man defense and patient, pass-happy offense, outclassed the county by taking its 12th league championship in 14 years under Coach Dave Greenberg.
It was no cakewalk for Hebron, however. Although they put together a 14-0 county record, the Vikings survived a stiff challenge to their league supremacy. Second-place Howard (11-3), third-place Hammond (10-4) and fourth-place Glenelg (9-5) all gave the Vikings fits at least once before falling to them.
Howard battled the Vikings in their first meeting in January before fading in the final minutes of a 56-47 Hebron victory. Hammond, after being routed by Hebron two monthsago, bounced back and nearly beat them last month before bowing, 52-48. That game was a prelude to the Golden Bears' playoff upset of Hebron, which propelled Hammond to its first state title.
And Glenelglost twice to Hebron by a combined 26 points in games that were deceptively close. In the first game, the Gladiators led by six points midway through the fourth period, before Hebron scored the game's final18 points to win by 12. In the rematch, Glenelg stuck close to the Vikings all night, before Hebron put the Gladiators away in the final two minutes to win by 14.
The Howard County Sun's All-County selections directly reflect the county's strengths. Hebron leads the way with three selections, two on the first team, including Player of the Year Kris Bryant.
Howard, which wound up the regular season with an 18-4 record, also earned three selections, including one on the first team. Hammond and Glenelg round out the list with two All-County players, one each on the first team.
Here's a glance at the top players from the 1991-1992 season.
* Kacy Williams of Hammond gave Hebron's Kris Bryant a run for Player of the Year honors.A sophomore point guard, the 5-foot-5 Williams was the engine that made the Golden Bears go.
An excellent athlete in superior condition, Williams combined good shooting (16-point average on 47 percent shooting) with excellent ball-handling and unselfishness (4.7 assists).She led the team in both categories. During the second half of the season, her three straight 20-point games sparked Hammond to a 6-1, regular-season finish.
Williams is arguably the best defensive player in the league. She led the Bears in steals (5.6) and was second in rebounding (7.3).
* Mount Hebron point guard Erica McCauley's value to the Vikings can't be overstated. The county's premier ballhandler and outside shooter, McCauley broke her own school record by hitting 63 three-pointers en route to 13.7-point average. She also led the team with 4.6 assists and averaged only two turnovers per game. McCauley also averaged a team-high 3.9 steals and added 3.6 rebounds per game.
"It's easy to take her for granted," said Hebron coach Dave Greenberg. "Everybody was keyed to stopping her. We lost two games, one (the first game of the year in the Strathaven (Pa.) Tournament) when she sat out most of the game in foul trouble and one (to Hammond inthe regional finals) when she was hurting (Achilles tendon) so badlyshe probably shouldn't have been on the floor."
* Point guard Tanissa Dorsey often put Glenelg on her shoulders. And the results were usually good for the 15-7 Gladiators. Dorsey, a superb 5-7 athlete, led the county in scoring (19.2) on 43 percent shooting, and scored 20or more points in 10 games. Her high point was a school-record 40-point effort against Atholton.
Dorsey brought more than one dimension to the floor. She was second on the team in rebounding with 7.5 a game, and led the Gladiators in assists (3.6) and steals (4.3). Without her, this team gets nowhere near the 2A state final, which Glenelg lost by five points to Hammond.
* Howard point guard Camille Powell had the same impact on the 18-4 Lions. The lanky, 5-8 Powell was the catalyst in Howard's man-to-man and zone defenses, averaging a team-high 5.5 steals and creating countless layups in the process.
Although she averaged only eight points a game, it wasn't due to her solid 36 percent shooting. Powell concentrated more on distributing the ball (team-high 6.4 assists a game) and on starting the offense with her rebounding (4.6). Like Kacy Williams, Powell is a tireless workerwhom Howard could not do without.
* Emily Yanero of Mount Hebron is the class of this group. The 5-8 sophomore guard was effective inside and outside, and especially strong at the foul line, where she led the county with 81 percent efficiency. Yanero also edged out Kris Bryant for team-leading scoring honors (14.9) on 54 percent shooting. In addition, she was second on the team in rebounds (6.6), steals (3.5) and assists (2.8).