The rivalry's the thing for Hammond, Hebron

January 11, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Staff Writer

Local bragging rights are all that remains of the Hammond-Mount Hebron girls basketball rivalry, but that's enough to make it the marquee matchup of the Howard County League.

Tomorrow night, No. 2 Hammond hosts the No. 6 Vikings at 7:30 for the first of two league showdowns.

This rivalry has grown fierce over the past few years, because only one could emerge from their Class 2A region to advance to the state final four.

In 1992, Hammond rebounded from two regular-season losses to beat the Vikings in the regional final. The Bears went on to win the state title that year. Last year, Hammond again knocked off the Vikings after losing twice, but the Bears were upset in the state championship.

Even though Mount Hebron's move to Class 3A eliminates the year-end showdown, the regular-season games shouldn't lose their fire.

"It's still a really important game," said Vikings senior forward Kristen Lloyd.

The Golden Bears, however, have plenty of incentive too. They neverhave won the Howard County championship and Mount Hebron has claimed 13 of the last 15 titles.

Neither team has great depth so it helps to have two injured players return. Forward Tameka Harrison is back from an eye injury for Hammond, which has struggled with foul trouble in its last few games. Guard Kathy Doyle, although still hurting from a sprained ankle, brings her quickness back to Mount Hebron's lineup.

Based on the way the teams have played so far against tough non-league schedules, Hammond would have to have an edge.

The Bears (6-1 overall, 1-0 league) have tremendous balance. Four starters average in double figures.

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