Mount Hebron stumbles in 4th, suffers 58-49 loss

15-0 run in final period ends Vikings' season

2A South girls basketball

March 04, 2001|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

With a nine-point lead with seven minutes remaining in the 2A South Region title game last night, host Mount Hebron had Fairmont Heights reeling.

But when the net-cutting began, it was the No. 4-ranked Vikings girls basketball team that finally hit the ground hard. Its hopes of a trip to UMBC for the state semifinal was shockingly halted by the Prince George's County school that stormed back for a 58-49 victory.

Martina Wheeler led Fairmont Heights (16-8) with 18 points while sophomore point guard Mia Glover scored 11 of her 17 points in the final period. Erin Jaschih led Mount Hebron (22-3) with a game-high 21.

In a rare boys-girls state semifinal showdown, Fairmont Heights will meet defending state champ Dunbar on Friday evening. The girls will collide at 9 p.m. this Friday at UMBC, while the No. 1 Dunbar boys play the Hornets at the University of Maryland at 7 p.m. The Dunbar girls defeated Catonsville yesterday in the 2A North regional final.

With its boys squad leading the cheers, Fairmont Heights scored 15 consecutive points in the decisive final quarter to deny the Vikings their first state final-four trip since the 1994-95 season.

"They just caught on fire, for three quarters, we controlled the game," Mount Hebron coach Scott Robinson said. " ... They just shot the ball great."

The Hornets made 12 of their final 19 shots, but a switch to a smaller lineup proved to be the key to Mount Hebron's undoing. Fairmont Heights intensified its defensive attack, forcing the Vikings into six consecutive turnovers in the fourth quarter.

What once was a 39-30 Mount Hebron lead with 7:49 remaining became a 45-39 deficit nearly four minutes later. Mount Hebron was finally able to stop the run, but Glover responded with a three-pointer for a 48-41 lead with 3:05 remaining.

The Vikings got back within five points on a couple of occasions only to be rebuffed by Fairmont Heights, which knocked off defending region champ Gwynn Park on Thursday evening.

"I think we kind of let up," said Jaschih, a 5-foot-9 senior forward. "We started panicking a little with their pressure some and started throwing the ball away. They converted and we couldn't."

"We had to go with a smaller lineup and hope to get them with our quickness," Fairmont Heights coach Barbara Tyner said. "We're too little to play a half-court game. It was all we had left."

With Jaschih (game-high 15 rebounds) and 5-10 Kristen Waagbo (11 points, eight rebounds) able to establish a dominating presence in the paint, Mount Hebron had Fairmont Heights at bay for most of the game.

The Vikings pulled to a 10-point lead midway in the third quarter after a jumper by Laura Carper. Mount Hebron pushed it to 35-23, its largest margin, after breaking Fairmont Heights' press.

"All year we've been able to handle team's pressure for the most part," Robinson said. "We've got some good ball handlers, they've just turned it up a notch. We just didn't handle it, not well at all."

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