Mount Hebron rolls to Greenberg's 300th victory

January 30, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

The past and present of a proud program came together neatly last night at Mount Hebron.

An air of celebration filled Hebron's crowded gymnasium during pre-game warm-ups. The sign on the Girls basketball

wall laid out the task at hand: "Go Greenberg Girls. Shoot For #300."

Then, Dave Greenberg's Mount Hebron Vikings went out and made it happen against visiting Glenelg.

The Vikings bolted to a 16-point lead after the first quarter, then cruised to a 57-37 victory to give Greenberg another special present in a storied career: his 300th victory.

When the final buzzer sounded, the fans roared, then showered Greenberg and his team with confetti and balloons. His players presented him with a framed jersey -- No. 300 -- honoring his milestone.

The fans included 15 Hebron basketball alumni who came to watch their old coach win another big one.

Greenberg, who has guided the Vikings to 12 county titles, seven regional crowns and, most impressively, six state championships in 14 seasons, had tried to downplay the event all week. But after he improved his record to 300-58, the crowd wouldn't allow it.

"This is really touching. I'm feeling kind of overwhelmed right now," said Greenberg, who deflected the praise everyone else was directing at him.

"It's not like these are my 300 wins. They belong to a whole lot of quality kids and a lot of other people who have been along for the ride," he added. "I've had great help over the years from people like [longtime assistants] Brad [Rees] and Strom [Jim Stromberg]. Fiercely loyal help. My ego is not that big. I don't mind admitting that these guys know more about the game than me."

His players beg to differ. Players such as Ruta Scribner, who graduated from Hebron in 1980 after playing on the first state championship team in Greenberg's second season.

Scribner played on Greenberg's first two teams, and she recalled what a dramatic impact he had on Hebron's program, even as a rookie coach. She still gets back to Hebron about twice a year to watch Greenberg and the Vikings in action.

"From what the program was before he came along, he tripled it in one year," Scribner said. "He knew how to teach defense and how to put everybody together and work in the right combinations.

"We weren't the best of friends when I was playing," Scribner said. She sometimes clashed with Greenberg, who was as demanding then as he is today. "It wasn't until after I left that I realized it was for my own good."

"I'm really glad that it [No. 300] happened while I was here," said se

nior point guard Erica McCauley, who, along with Emily Yanero, led Hebron with 13 points.

"He [Greenberg] is almost like a second father to all of us," she added. "He makes us work our butts off. Some days, when you have tests and papers due, you dread going into the gym. You don't want to run, but he makes you run. He teaches us not only the physical stuff, but the mental things, like how we carry ourselves on the court."

The Vikings (6-0, 12-2), using their familiar hustling, trapping, man-to-man defense, quickly seized the moment against the overmatched Gladiators (1-5, 5-7) by forcing eight first-quarter turnovers and racing to a 24-8 lead.

Six players scored for the Vikings in the quarter. McCauley brought the crowd to its feet with a steal and a reverse layup as time ran out. To their credit, the Gladiators didn't fold, and even pulled to within 32-20 at the half. But the outcome was never in doubt.

"I'm glad to be here tonight," said Randy Wallenhorst, Glenelg's rookie coach. "I respect Dave a lot. Every coach in the county emulates him. The success he's had is unparalleled. This gives me something to shoot for."

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