Hebron beats Hammond in OT Lloyd's late heroics spark 60-58 win Girls basketball

February 18, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Kristen Lloyd had never been in this situation before.

Third-ranked Mount Hebron was trailing visiting, fourth-ranked Hammond by one point with five seconds left in regulation. A county championship hung in the balance. The Vikings were depending on Lloyd, their junior forward, to rescue them at the foul line.

Her first shot barely missed. Then, Lloyd took a deep breath and calmly sank the free throw that tied the score at 52 to force overtime.

Lloyd was just getting warmed up. She scored Hebron's first six points in overtime to spark the Vikings to a dramatic 60-58 victory over the Golden Bears.

The victory, Hebron's 14th straight, gave the Vikings a two-game lead over Hammond (13-4, 8-2) in the county standings. Hebron (16-2, 10-0) is closing in on its 13th county title in 15 seasons under coach Dave Greenberg.

The victory also set up a scenario that each team remembers. Last year, after Hebron beat them twice during the regular season, the Bears knocked off Hebron in the regional playoffs en route to Hammond's first state championship. Both teams expect to meet again next month.

"I'm upset, because it's important for us to win a county championship. This takes us out of it," Hammond coach Joe Russo said. "I just hope it [the season] works out like it did last year."

For Hebron, it was a sweet victory for other reasons. Senior point guard Erica McCauley (nine points) broke the 1,000-point barrier for her career with a three-pointer in the third period, a shot that caromed high off the iron and fell through the net.

And the Vikings somehow overcame a Hammond team that forced 21 turnovers and overpowered them on the boards. Hammond out-rebounded Hebron, 27-17, including an 11-3 edge at the offensive end.

"I thought we played poorly, but we showed a lot of poise and heart and tenacity," said Greenberg, who picked Lloyd as a prime example. "When you miss the first shot, it makes the second one so tough. What guts it takes to step up and knock down that second one."

Lloyd has quietly become quite a story for Hebron. When Kris Bryant, last year's All-Metro Player of the Year, went down for the season with a knee injury, the Vikings called on Lloyd. She came into the game averaging nine points and five rebounds. Yesterday, after a relatively quiet three quarters, she stepped up to finish with 13 points. Her biggest shot came with five seconds left, after Hammond's Kacy Williams fouled Lloyd as she drove to the basket.

"I was real nervous. I didn't even know how much time was left. I just knew that, after I missed the first shot, I had to make the second one," Lloyd said. "I knew if we could tie it, we could win it. We kept our poise and played well enough to win."

The game was as evenly matched as it appeared on paper. The first quarter ended in an 11-11 tie. Hebron's Emily Yanero (18 points, 12 in the first half) then caught fire, hitting three consecutive outside shots. Her three-pointer with 4:02 left in the half put Hebron on top, 22-15.

Hammond responded with a 10-3 run, which concluded at the buzzer when Tiki Nicholson (nine points, five rebounds) hit a 16-footer to tie the score at 25 at intermission.

Hebron held a 42-39 lead after three periods, but Hammond went on a 9-2 run and took a 48-44 lead on Nicholson's 15-footer midway through the final quarter. An 18-footer by Kristen Moraz (10 points) made it 50-46 with 2:38 remaining, and Hebron was reeling.

But the Vikings, who had converted only one field goal in the previous seven minutes, charged back. Sandra Benson (10 points) hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 50-49 with 1:37 left, then cut Hammond's lead to 52-51 on a 15-footer with 34 seconds left in regulation. After Lloyd's heroics, Alisha Mosley blocked Kacy Williams' 15-foot attempt as time expired.

Lloyd then burned Hammond for two layups in the first minute of overtime to give Hebron a 56-52 lead. After Lloyd turned an offensive rebound into another layup to make it 58-54, Mosley hit both ends of a one-and-one with 17 seconds left to make it 60-56 and clinch the victory.

Hammond was hurt by the loss of Tameka Harrison. After leading the Bears with 14 points and six rebounds, Harrison fouled out with 10 seconds left in regulation.

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