Hebron's surprising success Bryant's injury fails to stop team

January 06, 1993|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Contributing Writer

The memory of Mount Hebron's upset loss to eventual Clas 2A state champion Hammond in last season's girls basketball regional playoffs is still fresh in the mind of Vikings coach Dave Greenberg.

That's why he's trying not to get too excited about the recent accomplishments of his third-ranked team, but who could blame him if he did?

The Vikings, who open their county schedule against Centennial at home on Friday, shocked some by winning the highly competitive Warhawk Classic in Vienna, Va., last week.

Mount Hebron defeated Virginia's Thomas Jefferson, 71-50, and Gar-Field, 44-38, before beating Bethesda's Walt Whitman, 37-32, in the championship game.

"Our hope was just to be able to be competitive," Greenberg said. "I'm real surprised and encouraged we were able to win a tournament like this. Teams from northern Virginia have a reputation for being outstanding in girls basketball."

And so does Mount Hebron, which is seeking a record seventh state title and its 13th county championship in 15 seasons under Greenberg.

What's surprising, however, is how well the Vikings have adjusted to the loss of senior center Kris Bryant, The Baltimore Sun 1991-92 Player of the Year who is not expected to play this season because of a knee injury.

Mount Hebron has won six of eight games while playing the toughest schedule of any team in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Its two losses were to Christ the King (N.Y.), ranked third nationally by USA Today, and Downingtown (Pa.), an honorable mention as one of the nation's top teams by Street & Smith's.

Greenberg, who has a 294-58 career record (.835) -- including a 183-13 mark (.934) in the county -- said he had put together the demanding schedule because he thought his team could compete with some of the country's best.

"After Kris got hurt, we could have tried to undo some of the commitments," Greenberg said.

"We didn't want to set them up for failure. But we decided to see

what we could do. We thought it would help us get better quickly."

Mission accomplished.

"The most encouraging thing is that our statistics are so &L balanced," he said.

In the Warhawk Classic, Emily Yanero was the Vikings' leading scorer (51 points), Sandra Benson was the top rebounder (16) and Tierney Clark led in assists and steals (12, nine).

Point guard Erica McCauley was named the tournament MVP for her all-around play, and Kristen Lloyd (26 points) and Alisha Mosley (13 rebounds, eight steals) also contributed.

"This team needed to acquire its own identity," Greenberg said. "Now we have some confidence that we can win without Kris."

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