Mount Hebron keeps hopes alive, 75-62

February 26, 1994|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Sun Staff Writer

With its starting lineup intact, the No. 14 Mount Hebron Vikings are 17-0 this season.

The Vikings (17-4, 9-4) kept their county championship hopes alive by beating Wilde Lake, 75-62, yesterday. The loss knocked the visiting Wildecats out of the county championship picture on the last day of the regular season.

Atholton (16-6, 10-4), which defeated Howard yesterday, clinched at least a tie for the title. Mount Hebron can tie if it beats Hammond on March 7 in a makeup game.

Mount Hebron had lost to Wilde Lake (11-10, 9-5) on Jan. 14 by 21 points, but played that game without starting point guard Mark Jensen.

Jensen (10 points) was back yesterday and the Vikings made only 11 turnovers.

Wilde Lake, which played a triangle-and-two defense Jan. 14 that stopped Mount Hebron's potent out side shooting, tried the same defense yesterday.

And at first it seemed to be working. Kurtis Jestes, Mount Hebron's leading scorer (22.7 average) had just two points in the first half. Jensen, the other half of Mount Hebron's excellent three-point shooting tandem, was scoreless until he made two three-pointers late in the second quarter.

This time, however, forward Kevin Tonkins (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Steve Dohler (13 points, 12 rebounds) stepped up their scoring efforts to break down the triangle.

"They left me and Steve open in the triangle," Tonkins said. "I was glad to see it."

Mount Hebron flirted with disaster when 6-foot-6 center Patrick Ngongba left with a sprained ankle 3:10 into the game.

Ngongba (11 points, 11 rebounds) didn't play again until the second half when he pulled down nine rebounds.

"A lot of us were scared and worried," Tonkins said about losing Ngongba.

"At first I thought it was bad and we were in trouble," Dohler said. "But in the second quarter he [Ngongba] nodded to me that he could play."

The game was tied 10 times in the first half and it was 35-35 at halftime. Mount Hebron had a nine-point run and a 19-10 lead late in the first quarter, but Seth Willingham (15 points, 10 rebounds) led a Wilde Lake rally with his 10-point second quarter that included two three-point baskets.

Wilde Lake has won only one game all season in which Willingham did not score at least 18 points, and Mount Hebron's ability to shut him down in the second half was crucial.

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