Hammond wins, clinches tie for county crown Bears end pair of hexes against Scorpions, 63-52

February 24, 1993|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

Hammond got two monkeys off the back of coach Jack Burke by virtue of yesterday's 63-52 victory over visiting Oakland Mills.

They clinched a tie for the county title -- his first after six second-place finishes in the past seven years. And they ended a nine-game losing streak to the Scorpions.

The Bears celebrated by cutting down the net Boys basketball

after the game, but it wasn't a wild celebration.

"We didn't get overly crazy because the players know the order of business -- that we may have to face Oakland Mills again in the regional playoffs," Burke said.

Hammond (13-7, 10-3), which has won eight straight games, has one league game remaining against Howard tomorrow and can clinch the title outright with a win. Centennial is one game behind Hammond.

Hammond has more depth than any other team in the league and nearly every game a different player steps up to lead the Bears to victory.

Yesterday, it was Jason Myatt, a senior playing his first season after being cut in tryouts last year.

Hammond played a box-and-one defense against Oakland Mills' top scorer, Michael Hill. Myatt held Hill to 12 points, well below his average. Hill made two three-point shots in the final two minutes when the game already was decided.

Myatt also came up with a strong offensive game, scoring 12 points and shooting 4-for-6 from the floor.

"They told me not to take it to the hoop too often, but it was just there for me," Myatt said. "This was one of my best games."

Hammond controlled the game from start to finish with its intense defense that made 20 steals.

Guard Kelvin Stevens made six steals for Hammond. His steal and 30-foot three-pointer at the buzzer gave Hammond a 47-31 lead after three quarters. Oakland Mills (9-12, 7-6), the five-time defending county champion, was outscored 15-5 in the third quarter.

The Bears also dominated the boards with 33 rebounds. Hammond averages 41 rebounds and 15 steals this season.

Oakland Mills played without one of its top scorers, Chad Barr, who was ill. The Scorpions missed his outside shooting ability.

Oakland Mills also kept coming up empty with its strategy of trying to push the ball inside. Once the pass inside was made, Hammond repeatedly stole the ball or blocked shots.

The Scorpions were held to 36 shots for the game and made only 17, including seven three-pointers. Hammond, which shoots only 38 percent from the floor, had its best shooting night of the season by hitting 24 of 51.

"This was the first game of the year we shot near 50 percent," Burke said.

Oakland Mills was led by another fine performance from Antoine Barnes (21 points), who hurt Hammond from the corners and was 8-for-12 from the foul line.

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