Vikings, Ngongba swallow Centennial

January 12, 1995|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Sun Staff Writer

As Patrick Ngongba (15 points, 14 rebounds, five blocked shots) sank two free throws early in the fourth quarter at Centennial yesterday, the theme song from "Jaws" rose softly from the Eagles' band.

The music was aptly chosen. The 6-foot-6 Ngongba had shredded Centennial's offense with his shot blocking and intimidation.

The Eagles (7-2 overall, 1-1 league) missed their first 10 shots and were 14-for-58 from the floor overall, as they dropped a 56-41 decision to No. 20 Mount Hebron (7-3, 2-0).

It was only Centennial's second loss this year, but it was ugly. The Eagles made 21 turnovers.

Maybe the fact that Centennial started three sophomores had something to do with Ngongba's ability to intimidate.

"I don't think it was intimidation," Centennial coach Jim Hill said. "I think we were just too tight -- too overly up for the game. We got so frustrated that we tried to do things we couldn't."

Centennial tried to work the ball inside the whole game, and often succeeded only to encounter Ngongba, who devoured rebound after rebound with such gusto that his efforts frequently brought a smile to his face.

"Defense was the story of the game," Ngongba said. "I enjoyed rebounding today.

His monster dunk with 2:28 left to play also brought a smile.

And in what was typical of Centennial's frustrating day, when Matt Laycock tried to dunk at the other end after Ngongba's dunk, he missed.

Free throws also played a large role in the Vikings' success. Mount Hebron shot 20-for-25 at the line -- even better than its normally high team average of 72 percent. Mount Hebron was 15-for-17 at the line in the fourth quarter. Ngongba made seven of eight free throws.

Another key factor for Mount Hebron was point guard Russell Drake, who scored 14 points, including three three-pointers.

"Drake has played well all year for us, but he stepped it up today," Mount Hebron coach Scott Robinson said.

Defense was certainly not the problem for Centennial, which held Mount Hebron to 16-for-40 from the floor and created 28 turnovers.

"If that's correct then that's our highest number of turnovers we've made this season," Robinson said. "We forced too many bad passes."

Neither team scored during the first 3:45 of the game until Drake sank a three-pointer.

Centennial did not score during the first 6:31 until Brian Otten's bank shot off a drive.

Mount Hebron led 8-4 after one quarter but and 25-13 at halftime.

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