The game didn’t turn out exactly how Mt. Hebron coach Tony Bell would have liked. His team turned the ball over 25 times and shot poorly from the foul line, missing 16 attempts. Luckily for the Vikings, Centennial struggled just a bit more.
The Eagles finished the contest with 33 turnovers and made just six of their 21 free throws, as Mt. Hebron was able to pull out the win, 38-28, on Monday afternoon.
“It wasn’t a very pretty game at all. There were a lot of turnovers both ways,” Bell said. “Centennial is a tough team; I take my hat off to them. This win was big for our program and our young team.”
Jamila Williams scored a team-high eight points and Tianna Wallpher added six for the Vikings (2-0 county, 2-0 overall). Anna Mitchell finished with 11 points and Sara Downing had six for Centennial (0-2, 1-2).
Playing without starting guard Nia Crump due to an illness, the Vikings had a problem with the Eagles’ full-court press. Even when Mt. Hebron managed to break the pressure, it took tough, contested shots.
“We were practicing for certain matchups with Crump in the game but we had to make adjustments,” Bell said. “We played by committee. I had some freshman step in. They were making mistakes but they also did incredible things tonight.”
Freshman Gabrielle Green scored six points in her high school debut, while classmate Peyton LeConte grabbed nine rebounds and Jordan Stevens added a field goal in the fourth quarter.
Centennial’s last lead came with 5:26 left in the second quarter. Mitchell gave a nice dish to Kimmy Eads, who finished with an and-one at the rim to make it 8-7.
Williams responded with a jumper, a put-back layup and two free throws to help the Vikings open up an 18-13 halftime lead.
In the second half, Mt. Hebron used a 6-0 run to push the lead to 27-17 thanks to a three-pointer from Wallpher, a turnaround hook from Green and a free throw by Meghan Doherty.
“This was a sloppy game, especially in the second quarter. At halftime, we all just dug deep because this is a great rivalry and we just did not want to lose this game,” Wallpher said. “We played good defense and fixed the fundamental things that we weren’t doing in the first half.”
Mitchell’s drive to the basket pulled Centennial to within 28-23 with just under five minutes remaining in regulation but the Eagles couldn’t get any closer.
“We just could not buy a bucket from the free-throw line and missed some bunnies,” Centennial coach Bobby Macheel said. “We have to work on our execution. I was proud of us defensively and overall I think we’re moving in a positive direction.”
Mt. Hebron 38, Centennial 28
MH (2-0, 2-0): J. Williams 8, Wallpher 6, Green 6, Konig 5, O. Williams 3, Bowen 3, LeConte 2, Stevens 2, Doherty 1.
C (0-2, 1-2): A. Mitchell 11, Downing 6, B. Anderson 5, Eads 2, Driscoll 2, Albornoz 2.
Half: 18-13 MH.
Howard 47, Long Reach 23
LR (0-2, 1-2): Peterson 7, Callan 6, Ratliffe 5, Sanders 3, Joyce 2.