Hammond sweeps two to take title

April 01, 1994|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Sun

Over the past few years, the Hammond High School wrestling team has prospered under coach Bill Smith and his philosophy of high-intensity training.

Now, first-year coach Larry Luthe is using that same philosophy to pump some life into the Bears lacrosse team, which went 5-9 a year ago.

And the hard work is paying off.

Hammond improved to 2-1 yesterday with two wins in the Atholton Spring Tournament. After defeating Atholton, 8-6, the Bears held on for a 7-6 win over Glenelg in the championship game.

For Luthe, the day couldn't have been sweeter.

"We've been working hard in practice, and today it paid off," said Luthe, who is assisted by Smith, the team's previous head coach. "We stayed in shape and we didn't get tired.

"Bill Smith hasn't lost a wrestling match in the county for three years, and his teams have always worked hard in practice. We've tried to carry that over to lacrosse.

"This was a very big day for us."

The Bears used good ball movement and four first-half goals by attackman Mike Sargent to build a 6-2 lead at the half.

They then clamped down on defense in the game's final minutes to narrowly hold off the Gladiators' late rally.

"It just seemed like everything was working our way in the first half," said Sargent. "We wanted to spread out the offense and work the ball around the perimeter, and I thought we did a really good job of that."

But in the second half, things began to fall apart.

Glenelg won the majority of ground balls and outshot the Bears, 15-4, while outscoring them, 4-1, in the half.

After Jeff Cordisco scored with 32 seconds left in regulation, Hammond was whistled for a penalty with four seconds left, giving Glenelg (2-1) one final chance to tie the game. The Gladiators, however, couldn't control the ball for the shot, and time expired.

"I thought we played very hard to win the second half," said Glenelg coach Rick Kincaid, whose team defeated Oakland Mills, 9-8, in the first round. "I just think we had a little bit of a letdown in the first half, and that cost us the game."

Although Hammond's victories don't count in the Howard County League standings, they were big from a psychological standpoint.

"Our program was down and the momentum wasn't there," said Luthe. "Now, we're working harder in practice than they ever have before.

"Hopefully, this thing will blossom."

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