Hammond finally claims county title

March 08, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

In four years together at Hammond, Kacy Williams and Sonia Keiner had won state and regional titles but never a Howard County basketball championship. Until last night.

No. 1 Hammond defeated No. 10 and four-time defending county champ Mount Hebron, 58-42, to win the title outright in a game postponed by February's ice storm.

In an unusual move, the game was rescheduled after the regional playoffs, because Mount Hebron could have tied the Bears for the title with a win. But visiting Hammond, which won the first meeting, 49-34, put away the Vikings with a 15-point run that ended halfway through the second quarter.

The Bears (22-1 overall, 14-0 league)wanted to prove they could win the second meeting even though the game interrupted their preparation for Friday's state semifinals.

"It's a relief actually, because it's taken so long. It was kind of anticlimactic, but I'm glad to have it," said Williams, who scored 11 and added five steals and five assists.

Keiner, who scored 10 and had three steals, said the win could help the Bears' state title drive.

"It helps us to get our minds off the Glenelg game and how bad we played," said Keiner, of Saturday's struggle to beat Glenelg, 46-34, for the Class 2A South regional championship. "It will help us in the long run, because now we can go into the state championships pumped up and ready to go."

Last night, however, the Bears did not have an easy time with Mount Hebron (15 -8, 12-2). The Vikings kept pace through most of the third quarter before Hammond hit that 15-point run.

Tiki Nicholson, who scored eight of her game-high 18 points in the first quarter, started the run with a layup on a pass from Williams.

Keiner finished off the rally with a three-point play that pushed Hammond's lead to 26-11. That play cost the Vikings more than the points, because 6-2 center Rachel Cimmier (10 points, seven rebounds) picked up her third foul and spent the rest of the half on the bench.

The Vikings scored just four points in the second quarter as Hammond ran up a 34-15 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, the Vikings outscored Hammond 20-12, and by early in the fourth quarter, they had cut the lead to eight.

Then Keiner snapped the Vikings' momentum with back-to-back assists to Nicholson and Williams for baseline jumpers. The Vikings got back within 10 with 4:37 left when Emily Yanero capped a three-point play and Cimmier hit one of two free throws. But they could not get closer.

For Vikings seniors Kristen Lloyd (eight points), Yanero (14 points) and Cimmier, however, the effort against Hammond helped make up for a disappointing loss in the Class 3A regional playoffs.

"It was real hard for us to play so poorly on Friday and look at that as our last game," said Lloyd. "It was really good that we got a chance to come back and play hard one more time, and I think we did that."

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