Hebron takes 1st round from Hammond

January 16, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Score the first round for the Mount Hebron Vikings.

Third-ranked Mount Hebron knows it will see fourth-ranked Hammond again during the regular season. And the Vikings figure they will see the Golden Bears once more in March during the regional playoffs.

Looking at the big picture, last night's 41-35 Hebron victory probably wasn't all that significant. To the Vikings, though, it meant a taste of sweet revenge. Last March, Hammond knocked off Hebron in the regional finals. The Bears denied Hebron a bid at a seventh state championship, and went on to win their first state crown.

"This was for our pride, and that's it," said Hebron point guard Erica McCauley, who led the Vikings with 12 points, and added four assists and three steals. "I personally have been thinking about this game for 10 months. The next two games [against Hammond] are much bigger. Last year, we won the county, but Hammond did what was important."

The Vikings (9-2, 3-0) won their seventh straight with the same ingredients that have made them the class of the county over the years.

Facing a team that has struggled lately with its shooting, the Vikings attacked Hammond with solid, man-to-man defense and helped the Golden Bears struggle to an 11-for-50 shooting night. Hebron also looked to three-year star McCauley, who scored nine in the first half to stake Hebron to an 18-16 halftime lead.

The Vikings -- who made only 16 of 50 shots -- then slowly padded their lead in the second half by working the ball inside to Kristen Lloyd (10 points, eight rebounds) and by making some timely, three-point shots.

Hebron also benefited from a subpar performance by Hammond guard Kacy Williams, who never got into the flow of the game. Williams fouled out with 3:50 remaining with just three points.

Tameka Harrison led Hammond with 14 points. Sonia Keiner scored eight points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. Tiki Nicholson scored four points and had eight rebounds.

"The big thing is we've got the confidence to play with them [Hammond] now," said Hebron coach Dave Greenberg. "It's good for this group to play good people and beat good people. We played hard and intelligently until the last few minutes, when we tried to give it away."

After a first half in which the teams were rarely separated by more than a basket, Hebron began to take control toward the end of the third period. With 1:40 left in the quarter, Sandra Benson made a three-pointer to give the Vikings a 29-23 lead. Lloyd then followed up her own miss at the buzzer to make it 31-23.

Hammond made it 33-29 on a 15-footer by Keiner and two free throws by Kristen Moraz, but the Vikings scored the next six points. McCauley made a three-pointer with 4:07 left, and Clark made a 12-footer to extend Hebron's lead to 41-29 with 2:21 left.

The Vikings went scoreless after that, missing the front ends of one-and-ones, and Hammond staged a mild comeback on the free throw line. Harrison made six of eight free throws to cut Hebron's lead to 41-35 with 25 seconds left.

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