Mount Hebron is relaxed and eager for its Jan. 8 league opener against Centennial, a team expected to be one of the Vikings' toughest league foes.
That readiness was apparent in its 72-43 victory over Archbishop Curley (2-3) in the final of the Mount Hebron Holiday Tournament yesterday.
The Vikings (6-2) made nine of their first 11 shots, including three three-pointers, pulling away to a 27-7 lead after one quarter.
Kurtis Jestes, Mark Jensen and Faisal Khan were especially effective shooting from long range. Jestes hit two straight three-pointers after Curley jumped to a 4-0 lead.
Jensen, who sank three treys in all, put the Vikings ahead 23-5 with his first during a 17-0 run in the first quarter. The Vikings were 11-for-17 from the floor in the quarter.
Defensively, the Vikings completely shut down Curley's attack, as the Friars shot 5-for-11 in the first quarter and 17-for-40 for the game.
"This was the best game we've played all season," Vikings coach Scott Robinson said.
Robinson started substituting in the first quarter and kept up a constant flow of fresh players into the game. Ten Vikings scored.
Curley slowed Mount Hebron in the second period, holding the Vikings to 10 points.
But Mount Hebron picked up the pace again toward the end of thethird period, hitting six straight shots, including two three-pointers by Jensen. After three quarters it was 53-29.
"We're winning with defense and good outside shooting," Mount Hebron's Phil Tonkins said. The 6-foot-4 center scored 13 points and was strong on the boards.
Tonkins, who won the post-game three-point shooting contest, said the team is having fun lately.
"The team is coming together now and we're in a good frame of mind going into the county," Tonkins said.
In the consolation game, Pikesville held off a strong rally by South Carroll to win, 77-72.
Pikesville led 17-0 after one quarter and 43-16 at the half. South Carroll's Brad Schulze (24 points) led the comeback by hitting six three-pointers in the second half.
South Carroll pulled within 75-72 with nine seconds left to play.