No. 18 Mount Hebron hands No. 11 Long Reach first loss

Velasquez's 34 help Vikes climb to half-game from 1st

Boys basketball

January 30, 2003|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Mount Hebron's Sean Velasquez said the death of his 67-year-old grandmother Tuesday inspired him to his finest basketball performance of the season yesterday.

The senior guard, a transfer from Massachusetts, scored 34 points, grabbed five rebounds and made four steals as the host Vikings upset previously unbeaten, No. 11-ranked Long Reach, 82-72.

The victory pulled the No. 18-ranked Vikings (10-3 overall, 8-1 league) within a half-game of the Lightning (13-1, 9-1) in the Howard County standings.

"I did it for my grandmother," said Velasquez, who spent last weekend visiting her in Hopkinton, Mass.

Velasquez averages 16.5 points, but raised the ante for Long Reach, a much taller team than Mount Hebron. The 6-foot Velasquez scored 24 points in the second half, including eight of 10 free throws.

His driving basket with five minutes left in the game ended a 9-0 run by Long Reach that had cut a 10-point Vikings lead to 65-64.

And after a Long Reach free throw, Velasquez gave the Vikings more breathing room by sinking the last of his four three-point baskets for a 70-65 lead with 3:40 to play.

Then, he stole the ball, setting up a score by Jerry Calixte off an assist by Aaron Rei-White for a 72-65 advantage.

Velasquez stole the ball again with 1:16 to play, and made two free throws for a 76-67 Mount Hebron lead.

"We had a team effort on defense, but Sean carried the load for us offensively," said Vikings coach Mike Linsenmeyer. "I was proud of him for playing so tough after his grandmother's death. He took a charge, had some key steals and played a complete game."

Velasquez's previous high-scoring game was 30 points against Pallotti.

Mount Hebron, out-rebounded 29-20, overcame Long Reach's height advantage by hitting nine three-point baskets.

Ricky Choi came off the Vikings' bench in the second quarter to hit three straight three-point baskets.

Mount Hebron starter Marc Carroll drew his third foul near the end of the first quarter and had to sit out much of the second quarter. Carroll made two three-pointers, scored 12 points and had four rebounds.

Drew Myers, a 6-foot Vikings center guarding 6-4 Terrell Blackwell, scored 14 points and had five rebounds. Calixte scored six points and played tough defense, holding Long Reach's Mike Smelkinson to 10 points. And point guard Rei-White scored nine points, had four assists, three rebounds and ran the offense well.

Blackwell led Long Reach with 24 points.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.