Standing 6 feet 2 and towering over many of her fellow Howard County foes, Mt. Hebron center Gabby Green is almost always the tallest player on the court. On Saturday, traveling to Hammond for the team’s annual Pink Game to raise awareness for breast cancer research, the talented sophomore met her match in Lauren Terry.
The Golden Bears’ center is an inch taller than Green and played well in their matchup. But the Vikings were superior overall.
Green netted 13 points and seven rebounds in Mt. Hebron's 59-17 victory. The Vikings (12-4, 13-5) haven’t lost since Jan. 8, and look to be catching fire at exactly the right time.
“The girls are hungry,” coach Tony Bell said. “Some of the losses that we took early in the season, I think the girls are now looking back on and seeing what could have been had we came out hard in every single game.
“That’s our new philosophy. No matter who we play, we’ll come out right from the beginning and give 100 percent.”
While Green’s performance was impressive, Terry’s strength was also evident for the Golden Bears (1-16, 2-17). With nine points and 12 rebounds, the sophomore led her team in both categories. With a clear advantage in size in nearly every game, coach Mona Reid said her center's development through the season is contingent on a heavy dose confidence.
“When you go against those outstanding players like Gabby, you’re either going to step up or sit down,” she said. “The good thing was seeing (Lauren) get up, and I thought she did well.”
Bell called Green “the most talented center in the county,” adding that her ability to rise to the occasion against a formidable opponent in Terry was a good sign of things to come.
“I don’t normally get to play against people who are taller than me,” Green said. “It’s different, but it was good. She has really long arms, so we had to look to pass out more.”
Seven different Vikings scored five or more points. Megan Konig (11 points) and Meghan Doherty (7) were important perimeter players to pull some pressure off of Green when the opposing defense collapsed.
Mt. Hebron used a fierce press as well, making it difficult for the Golden Bears to advance their offense further than half court for stretches of the game.
By intermission, the Vikings had built a 32-9 lead that all but sealed the win. Seeing an opportunity to test different player combinations on the court, Bell was able to get a good look at his bench.
The Vikings' coach fielded all-guard and all-post player lineups at different points in the second half, creating situations that could come in handy in the playoffs later this month. Regardless of his personnel on the court, the Vikings' coach maintained that the key to his team’s success doesn’t rest on scoring alone.
“Today was a team defensive effort,” he said. “No matter who came in the game, the intensity stayed up.”
Both teams play again on Tuesday. Wilde Lake is at Mt. Hebron, and Hammond travels to Oakland Mills.
Mt. Hebron 59, Hammond 17
MH: Gabby Green 13, Megan Konig 11, Meghan Doherty 7, Olivia Williams 5, Nia Crump 5, Giovanna Alli 5, Lyndsey McLamb 5, Tianna Wallpher 4, Peyton LeConte 3, Becky Walker 1.
Ha: Lauren Terry 9, Shawnice King 4, Alexis Stratton-Bratcher 3.
Half: 32-9, Vikings.
River Hill 52, Long Reach 38
RH (10-7, 12-7): Jenna Collins 24 pts (11 rebounds), Julia Collins 14 pts (11 rebounds), Jessie Hopkins 6, Chelsea Buchiane 5, Sydney Poindexter 2, Annie Clark 1.
LR (4-12, 6-13): Imani Sanders 10, Alana Ratliffe 10, Jeily Mata 9, Katelyn Peterson 7.
Half: 20-19, Hawks.