Hammond resorted to a patient offense and a harassing pressure defense to upset No. 20 Mount Hebron, 58-42, in a Howard County League game at Hammond.
Hammond led from start to finish, with sophomore guard Mike Matthews, junior center James Fehrman and senior guard Kris Jefferson scoring 18, 13 and 10 points, respectively. Jefferson scored all of his points in the second half as the Bears ended Mount Hebron's five-game winning streak.
The Bears (4-5, 2-1), led by 14 points at halftime and by as many as 19 in the fourth period. The Vikings are 8-3, 2-1.
Hammond's 2-1-2 full-court pressure and combination half-court zone defenses throttled Mount Hebron all game, forcing 15 of 58 shooting and 17 turnovers. With Matthews, Jefferson and junior guard Kelvin Stevens directing the offense and seeking the open man, the Bears shot 23 of 52.
The Vikings, led by junior guard Mark Jensen's 11 points, made seven three-pointers.
"The key to this game was our offense," Hammond coach Jack Burke said. "Not only were we patient, but we looked for good shots and we rebounded the ball well. I thought Fehrman did a great job in the middle and Kris Jefferson was outstanding in the second half."
Fehrman, 6 feet 5, and 6-7 senior center Claude Moore helped Hammond win the rebounding battle, 37-33. They overshadowed Mount Hebron's smaller lineup and three-guard setup. The Vikings' leading scorer, 6-4 center Phil Tonkins, managed just six points.
In the first half, Matthews paced Hammond with 10 points. His basket capped a game-opening 6-0 spurt, as the Golden Bears set the tone by trapping and looking for the open shot.
Burke remembered what it was like when the Golden Bears let Glenelg ignite an up-tempo game in its 75-59 victory Wednesday.
"In the first half, we wanted to start out slow, keep the game at our tempo, and keep the players we want in the game," Burke said. "We also wanted to deny them the ball real quick and make sure certain people didn't bring the ball up the floor."
"They were quicker and bigger," Mount Hebron coach Scott Robinson said, "and for us to beat a team like that, we have to shoot the ball well, handle it well and limit them to one shot."
The Vikings made their best run in the third period. After the Bears stretched their lead to 18, Mount Hebron put together a 10-0 spurt. Guard Faisal Khan made two three-pointers in the run and Hammond led 32-24 with 4:40 left in the quarter.