Off-target Hammond misses championship, 57-46

After quick start, Bears shoot 29% in loss to DuVal

Girls Class 2A final

High School Basketball

March 10, 2002|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

For nearly six minutes at the start of yesterday afternoon's Class 2A girls basketball state title game at UMBC, everything went right for 11th-ranked Hammond. But for nearly nine minutes to start the second half, everything went awry.

The Golden Bears jumped out to an 11-point lead in the first quarter, but then fell behind by 12 just after halftime. In the end, it was too much to overcome, and DuVal defeated Hammond by 57-46 for its state-record seventh championship.

"They just came out [in the second half] and started getting hot," said Tara Zammichieli, Hammond's senior point guard. "They were hitting short jumpers, and we couldn't get anything to fall. They were using their post people pretty well, getting back door cuts. We just couldn't catch a break or get our rhythm going."

Senior forward Melissa Workman scored a team-high 17 points on 7-for-19 shooting, and Zammichieli registered 16 points on 5-for-12 from the floor for Hammond (21-7), which had its eight-game winning streak broken. But the rest of the team managed just 13 points and combined to shoot 4-for-24 (17 percent) from the field. As a team, Hammond shot 29 percent from the floor and was 9-for-15 from the foul line.

Junior forward Summer Graves scored a game-high 19 points - 14 in the second half - on 8-for-18 field-goal shooting for the Tigers (21-5) of Prince George's County, who have won a state title three of the past four seasons.

Junior forward Sherika Thomas scored 13 points, senior guard Janel Hamilton added 12 points and senior center Ifeome Onuaku added nine points and 10 rebounds as DuVal shot 22-for-50 (44 percent) from the floor and 9-for-17 (53 percent) from the line.

But an even bigger difference than the shooting disparity was inside strength. DuVal dominated the boards at both ends and out-rebounded Hammond, 46-28. The Tigers also grabbed 18 offensive rebounds.

"We didn't rebound or box out, and that killed us the whole game," Workman said. "I don't know if we were just tired or if our heads were just not in the game, but we just would not box out. We would come out and trap girls, and then after they shot we just watched."

After DuVal scored the game's first basket, Hammond reeled off 13 straight points. Junior guard Kelley Berger, Workman and Zammichieli all hit three-pointers, and Workman and Zammichieli also hit two-pointers to give Hammond a 13-2 lead with 2:27 remaining in the first quarter. Over the opening 5:48, DuVal missed five of its first six shots and turned the ball over nine times.

Hammond led 26-21 at halftime, but after Zammichieli put the Bears up by seven points 21 seconds into the third quarter, DuVal responded with an 8-0 run to take a 29-28 lead. Following a layup by sophomore guard Chanel Paye that momentarily put Hammond back in front, Graves scored eight points during a 15-2 DuVal run that gave the Tigers their biggest lead, 44-32, with 7:25 remaining in the fourth quarter.

"I think we just came out [in the second half] and took them lightly," Hammond coach Raymona Jackson said. "We shouldn't have. You can't at a state competition. They're going to give it their all. There's no tomorrow for either team. You either go out the winner, or you come up a little short."

DUVAL -Hamilton 12, Graves 19, Onuaku 9, Johnson 4, Thomas 13. Totals 22 9-17 57.

HAMMOND - Berger 4, Schrader 2, Workman 17, Sanford 3, Zammichieli 16, Paye 4. Totals 16 9-15 46. Half: H, 26-21.

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