No. 1 Hammond weathers Glenelg challenge, 46-34

March 06, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

No. 19 Glenelg only had to look down the road for some extra incentive going into last night's regional final at No. 1 Hammond.

After all, hadn't Howard upset No. 6 Mount Hebron on Friday night after losing twice during the regular season? So wasn't it possible the Gladiators could upend Hammond, too?

Well, not this time. But it was close.

The Gladiators (17-7) stayed within 10 points most of the game before the top-seeded Golden Bears (21-1) emerged with a 46-34 victory for their third straight Class 2A South regional championship.

The Bears advance to Friday afternoon's state semifinal round at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The game will be played at 3 or 5 p.m., depending on the seeding.

Last night the Bears were breathing a sigh of relief at getting past visiting Glenelg, which has given Hammond more trouble with each meeting. The Gladiators held the Bears to their second-lowest scoring total of the season -- after Hammond had set a school record of 88 points in the regional semifinal the night before.

"We played terrible, but the bottom line is we won," said dTC Hammond coach Joe Russo, who had four of his top six playing with four fouls in the fourth quarter. "I don't know why we played so bad. We just didn't do the things we usually do."

The Bears shot just 25 percent from the field after hitting 52 percent the night before. They also struggled at the line, hitting only 16 of 33 free throws.

The Bears did not hit their stride offensively until the fourth quarter. With Glenelg tiring out, Tiki Nicholson scored 15 of her game-high 22 points as the Bears shot 6-for-13 from the field.

The rest of the game, the Bears hit just nine of 48 shots.

"We were just flat," said senior point guard Kacy Williams. "We weren't patient. We were rushing through our offense, not running the offense and looking at everybody else like, 'what are you doing.' "

Williams said the Bears have had trouble before against man-to-man defenses, but the second-seeded Gladiators' physical defense gave them as much trouble as anyone all season.

"Glenelg played really strong man-to-man," said Williams. "They made us have to work at our picks and screens, and we didn't execute."

The Gladiators, who had lost 69-35 and 60-40 to Hammond during the regular season, kept pace early. They tied at 6-6 after one quarter and stayed within one until midway through the second.

The Bears pulled ahead, 16-10, a minute before halftime. But Christina Flowers fed Jill Younce (11 points) for a baseline jumper and added a 15-footer of her own to pull within two at the half.

Kellye Townsend, Sonia Keiner and Williams combined for the first five points of the second half to push the Bears lead to 21-14 as they slowly began to pull away. Glenelg never got closer than six.

The Gladiators tried to catch up with three-point shots in the fourth quarter, but Younce made the only one in seven attempts between her and Kim Brown. Brown, the team's best long-range shooter, fouled out of the game with 46 seconds left.

For the Bears, before they can concentrate on Friday's state semifinal, they have to play No. 6 Mount Hebron tomorrow at 5 p.m.

In a game rescheduled because of snow, the Bears can win the county title outright with a victory. If not, they would share the title with the Vikings.

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