Wilde Lake surprises No. 12 Mt. Hebron, 69-48

January 15, 1994|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Staff Writer

Paul Ellis has been telling people all along that he believes his Wilde Lake boys basketball team is the best he's had in his tenure as head coach.

When the Wildecats started 2-6, Ellis' assessment seemed far off the mark.

But last night, it looked a little better as the unranked Wildecats earned some respect and upended No. 12 Mount Hebron, 69-48, in a Howard County League matchup at Wilde Lake.

Behind the hot shooting hand of senior swingman Seth Willingham and the tenacious rebounding of Carl Jackson and Sule Carpenter, the Wildecats opened a 14-2 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.

Willingham scored a game-high 27 points to go along with nine rebounds and two blocks, and Carpenter and Jackson chipped in with 12 and six points, respectively.

"We had a tough out-of-county schedule and coming in here, I don't think we got the kind of respect that we deserve," said Willingham, who made eight of nine free throws. "We knew we had nothing to lose coming into the game. We knew we could hang with them and once we went up on them we stayed on top of them and didn't let them get back in it."

It seemed as though Mount Hebron was never in this one.

The Vikings (10-1, 2-1), who escaped Hammond with a 69-64 overtime win on Wednesday, couldn't get out of the blocks in the first quarter and found themselves trailing 14-2 following a tip-in by Jackson.

Hebron, which was without starting point guard Mark Jensen (pinched nerve in his neck), committed four turnovers in the opening period, hit just two of 10 shots from the field and trailed 14-5 heading into the second quarter.

Wilde Lake (4-6, 2-1), which was coming off a 69-54 triumph over Glenelg, let the Vikings pull within three on a Kevin Tonkins' steal and a layup by Patrick Ngongba. But the Wildecats answered with a nine-point run and led at the half, 34-20.

Things only got worse for the visitors in the second half as Wilde Lake stretched the lead to 16 midway through the third quarter on a basket by Corey Ellis. The Wildecats starters got a break in the closing minutes and Wilde Lake got some solid minutes from its reserves.

Fresh for the fourth quarter, Wilde Lake's starters returned to put the game away before being pulled again late in the game.

Tonkins, who scored a career-high 25 in Hebron's overtime victory against Hammond, was held to 10 points and Ngongba -- a 6-foot-7 junior center from the Central African Republic -- scored eight.

"Wilde Lake came out and out-played us in every phase of the game but I told my kids I'm still proud of them because no one thought that we would ever win 10 straight," said Mount Hebron coach Scott Robinson. "Coach Ellis has been saying that this is the most talented team he has ever had so we knew they were going to be good."

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