Hereford is unusually young and sometimes unpredictable. But when confronted with one of the most important games of the season, the Bulls showed they could respond Friday night.
Visiting Hereford (7-4) used a tenacious defense to hold rival Dulaney scoreless for nearly eight minutes in the second half and cruised to a 40-26 victory on "Think Pink" night, which raised money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.
The game was a big change from the season opener for both schools, when Dulaney (9-3) topped Hereford, 42-36, in a non-league game on Dec. 5.
"We were going to use this game as a barometer to see how far we have come in the last six weeks," Hereford coach Ellen Fitzkee said. "I was pretty pleased with our effort. Defensively, I thought we did a nice job. We got on the glass. I think that was the difference in the game."
Hereford junior forward Nicole Viscusco scored a game-high 16 points and teammate Cori Beck added nine.
Ellie Mathey led Dulaney with 10 points.
The Lions opened with a 6-2 run in the first four minutes, but struggled for the remainder of the half. They had more turnovers (9) than points (7) in that span.
Dulaney actually led 9-8 a minute into the second quarter on Mathey's three-pointer, but Hereford closed the period with a 13-4 spurt. Viscusco had six points during that sequence.
Hereford led 21-13 at halftime and pushed its advantage to 27-17 with 2:07 remaining in the third quarter on Noelle Funk's 15-foot jumper.
Twenty-five seconds later, Sarah Dorl (8 points) scored on a layup for Dulaney.
The Lions didn't score again until two minutes remained in the game.
"I was hoping we would take the lid off the basket," said Dulaney coach Jess Szymanski, whose team shot 26 percent (8-for-30) from the field. "But that didn't happen. I just felt offensively we didn't produce at all. We were off shooting."
Armani Graves (4 points), Erin Briggs (2) and Carly Glinowiecki (2) also scored for Dulaney while Kendra Herbenar (6), Noelle Funk (6) and Alex Gianotti (3) accounted for the rest of Hereford's points.