Hammond wins foul-fest with Wilde Lake, 72-34

January 08, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Staff Writer

With one starter injured, No. 2 Hammond really needed to stay out of foul trouble last night against No. 20 Wilde Lake.

Either that or hope the Wildecats got into bigger foul trouble.

The Golden Bears (6-1) took the latter route and beat the host Wildecats, 72-34, in the Howard County league opener for both teams.

The Bears have struggled with foul trouble in their last three games. Last night four starters had at least two fouls by halftime. Forward Kellye Townsend had three.

However, Wilde Lake (4-4) was in even more trouble. The Wildecats not only had two starters with three fouls and two more with two by halftime, but they were getting hurt by Hammond's repeated trips to the line.

Hammond hit nine of 11 free throws in the first quarter, building a 17-6 lead. It finished by hitting 14 of 20 in the game.

"The last two games, we've been converting our free throws, but we're still sending the other team to the foul line too much," said Hammond coach Joe Russo.

Wilde Lake ended up hitting 14 of 22 attempts from the line. It pulled within 19-10 early in the second quarter when Kim Driessen hit both ends of a one-and-one, but the Wildecats could not get closer.

The Wildecats' biggest problem was simply holding onto the ball.

Hammond's pressure defense forced many of Wilde Lake's 34 turnovers, but the Wildecats also threw the ball away a lot.

"We weren't ready for the quickness and the pressure," said Wilde Lake coach Kelly Rosati. "We knew it was coming. We played them last year, and we knew how they played. But we got rattled. Shots we usually take easily -- they were right on us, and we couldn't get them off."

Hammond broke the game open with a 15-2 run in the second quarter to pull ahead 34-12. Tiki Nicholson scored nine of her game-high 23 points in that run.

For Nicholson, this was her second straight 20-point game. The 5-foot-8 junior guard hit 11 of 13 shots in the second and third quarters and scored the first 10 points of the second half. She also played a tremendous defensive game and finished with five steals and three assists.

Nicholson picked the perfect time to have a great game with starter Tameka Harrison sidelined. Harrison, a 5-9 junior forward, burned her eye on a curling iron earlier this week and will be out for a while.

Without Harrison, Russo called on 6-1 freshman Rene Hines to fill in. Usually the Bears' sixth man, Hines answered with eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

The Bears also got 14 points each from Kacy Williams and Townsend.

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