No squeaker this time Centennial belts Hebron

Eagles' team defense sparkles in 55-18 romp

Class 3A/Girls basketball

March 07, 1997|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

This season, the hallmark of both Centennial and Mount Hebron has been great coaching that stresses defense.

The difference in last night's Class 3A East Region semifinal, won by Centennial, 55-18, was that Eagles coach Dave Greenberg has had three years to build a program. And Mount Hebron's Scott Robinson, who used to be the Vikings' boys coach, was starting almost from scratch with his girls team this season.

Seventh-ranked Centennial (19-4) will play at J. M. Bennett of Wicomico County at 7 p.m. tomorrow for the region championship.

"I was worried about tonight's game, because Scott Robinson is as good a coach as I ever worked with," said Greenberg, who coached Mount Hebron's girls at the same time Robinson coached the boys. "And it was the third time we've played them this season. That's always tough."

In the last meeting between the teams, on Feb. 19, Mount Hebron (7-16) nearly pulled off the upset of the season before losing, 29-27.

"This time, our match-up zone didn't bother them like the last time," Robinson said. "They've had some time to work on it. Centennial is just well-coached, disciplined and plays great defense."

Mount Hebron, which hadn't played a game in 15 days, didn't hang with Centennial long this time. Up 5-4, Centennial went on a 15-0 run that put them up, 20-4. Meredith Price (12 points, seven rebounds) and Caitlin Ryland (seven points) each scored four points during that run.

Mount Hebron freshman Lauren Kickham (nine points, four rebounds) converted a three-point play to make it 22-7. But Centennial then went on a 22-1 run to boost its lead to 44-8 by the latter part of the third quarter. Hebron scored only two points in the third quarter.

"Centennial played a great game," Robinson said. "They hit their shots at the beginning of the game. Jane Williams hit a huge three for them, and they shot the lights out."

Centennial shot 20-for-51 (39 percent) from the floor. Mount Hebron, against a tenacious man-to-man defense, made six of 33 shots (18 percent).

"The key was team defense," Greenberg said. "Our defense was great. It rotated well. Mallory Graves pressured the ball and took out Mia Molfino. And when Alexia Vogler came in, our defense went up another notch."

Molfino, Mount Hebron's top offensive threat, was held scoreless.

The Eagles defense created another key difference between this game and the previous meeting between the teams -- turnovers. Mount Hebron's inability to take care of the ball led to 22 turnovers.

"Last time, we handled their pressure well," Robinson said. "This time we didn't."

And the turnovers resulted in a lot of transition baskets for Centennial.

"Last time, they got no easy baskets," Robinson said. "This time they did. We played hard, but Centennial is just a much better team."

Greenberg played his entire team. Eight different players scored. Nine players had at least one rebound.

Pub Date: 3/07/97

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