Hammond guards Kacy Williams and Sonia Keiner have been friends since kindergarten. It seems they've been waiting that long to beat Mount Hebron in a regular-season game.
Yesterday, the two seniors combined for 25 points to lead the No. 2 Golden Bears to a 49-34 victory over Girls basketball
No. 6 Mount Hebron in a Howard County league girls basketball game.
Although the Bears (6-1, 2-0) had beaten Mount Hebron in the Class 2A regional playoffs each of the past two years, they had lost both regular-season meetings -- and the county title -- each year to Mount Hebron. The Vikings (4-5, 1-1) have won 13 of the past 15 county titles.
This time, the Bears were determined to break that in-county stranglehold.
"We said we wanted to win a county championship before we left high school," said Keiner. "We've won regionals and states before, but we've never won a county championship, so that's a big goal for us."
With yesterday's victory, the Bears appear well on their way.
Keiner led the team with 14 points and Williams added 11, but it was not the offense that overwhelmed Mount Hebron. Hammond's swarming pressure defense forced 32 turnovers and limited the Vikings to 35 shots.
The Vikings wanted to slow down the game, which they managed to do initially. But once the Bears started to run, the momentum never swung back to Mount Hebron.
Early on, the Vikings succeeded in going inside to strong center Rachel Cimmier. The 6-foot-2 senior scored eight of her game-high 16 points in the first quarter.
But Williams set the tone for the second quarter by stealing the Vikings' inbounds pass. The Bears' sticky defense then sparked a 10-2 run that gave Hammond a 25-13 lead midway through the quarter.
The Vikings scored only two baskets in the quarter -- one on a long pass when Hammond thought the official had called timeout. Mount Hebron never got closer than 12 the rest of the way.