Mount Hebron rolls past Long Reach

Waagbo's 27 points pace No. 8 Vikings, 61-39

Girls basketball

January 27, 2002|By Eric Brandner | Eric Brandner,SUN STAFF

The Long Reach girls basketball team anticipated spoiling No. 8 Mount Hebron's Howard County title hopes yesterday, but Kristen Waagbo had a far different plan in mind.

Mount Hebron used good ball movement and a game-high 27 points from Waagbo, its All-Metro junior forward, to cruise to a 61-39 victory at Long Reach.

"We knew they were good shooters if they were on, and if we kept letting them shoot, it'd be a really close game," Waagbo said. "So we just had to cut down on their shooting and focus on their big player."

The Vikings (12-3, 9-2 league) stuck with their plan of containing the Lightning's big player, sophomore guard Timisha Gomez. Gomez, who entered the contest averaging 17.2 points, was held to seven points on 2-for-13 shooting.

"She's a prolific scorer," said Mount Hebron coach Steve Robinson. "I thought Laura Carper and Laura Cipro did a great job on her. We were trying to limit the number of times she touched the ball, and we did a good job of that."

Neither school had played in more than a week because of exams, and the rust showed early. The Vikings didn't score for the first three minutes while the Lightning didn't get on the board until Gomez hit a driving layup at the 2:30 mark in the first quarter.

"We weren't working the ball around and looking for open shots," Gomez said. "People were forcing shots."

The Vikings capitalized on the Lightning's offensive woes to forge a 26-15 halftime lead. The shooting troubles returned for both teams in the second half until the Vikings came alive, hitting six of their last seven shots from the field to end the third quarter, including an acrobatic, twisting layup by senior Crystal Griner, extending the lead to 45-25. Vikings senior Jackie Greenbaum put the exclamation point on the outburst, blocking Becky Ward's three-point attempt at the buzzer and bringing the well-represented Mount Hebron contingent to its loudest point of the afternoon.

Long Reach attempted to get back into the game by pressing and had brief success, cutting the deficit to 15 after a Jordan Ambrose three. The Vikings quickly adjusted to the defense and employed quick ball movement to create several easy shots for Waagbo.

"I think we're a really composed team," Waagbo said. "So many teams have thrown presses at us that we just fall into the right places and get the ball to the right spot."

Sophomore Stephanie Bissett added scoring punch for the Vikings, chipping in 10 points.

The Lightning (8-7, 4-7) dropped its third game in a row to a ranked opponent. Before exam week, Long Reach lost two games by a combined three points to county powers No. 6 Glenelg and No. 12 River Hill.

"Playing Glenelg took a lot out of us, and I think we were still playing Glenelg when we played River Hill," said Long Reach assistant Joe Lake. "We didn't have the intensity we had against River Hill and Glenelg."

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