Mount Hebron coach Dave Greenberg has said he hates to play an opponent three times in a season. Even opponents his team has beaten by an average of margin of 19.5 points in two games this season, such as Glenelg.
But he needn't have worried.
Although Glenelg gave Mount Hebron a scare, the second-ranked and top-seeded Vikings never trailed en route to a 47-40 victory over the fourth-seeded Gladiators (17-7) in a Class 2A state semifinal at Catonsville Community College last night.
Mount Hebron (22-3) will defend its state title against Parkside (24-1), a 68-50 winner over Fairmont Heights (18-5), in today's championship game at 1 p.m. The Vikings, winners of four state titles in the last five years, will be attempting to tie the record for most state titles for girls basketball (six), held by Brooklyn Park.
"At the beginning of the year we expected Glenelg to be one of the top teams in the [Howard] county, along with us, Oakland Mills and Howard," Greenberg said. "The good thing is that, even though we struggled, we played well enough to win."
Sisters Christy and Erica McCauley led the Vikings with 15 and 13 points, respectively. Christy McCauley led Mount Hebron to an early lead, and Erica McCauley helped the Vikings regain their lead in the second half.
Erica McCauley scored 11 points in the second half, including seven in the third quarter, when Mount Hebron outscored Glenelg, 12-5, to break a 24-24 halftime tie. She had a subpar shooting performance (4-of-15 from the field), but that may have been due in part to her recurring back problem.
Greenberg said she was experiencing pain in her hip and pelvic region -- the injury which limited her to just 13 games last season -- and she did not practice most of the week.
Christy McCauley scored 10 in the first quarter on 3-for-4 shooting from the field -- including 2-for-2 from three-point range -- to help the Vikings build a 21-10 advantage.
Christy McCauley twisted her ankle on the game's final play, but Greenberg said he expects her to play today.
Mount Hebron went cold in the second quarter, however. Glenelg outscored the Vikings, 14-3, in the period, holding them to 1-for-15 shooting from the field. Glenelg's Kristy Moore (nine points, 15 rebounds) and Tanissa Dorsey (10 points, 15 rebounds) combined for 14 points and 15 rebounds in the first half.
Mount Hebron's defense seized control of the game in the third )) quarter, limiting Glenelg to one field goal. Glenelg got no closer than five points in the fourth quarter.
"We played pretty good defense in the second half," Greenberg said. "Except for the second quarter, I guess we played pretty well."
Despite the loss, Glenelg coach Barb Wolf said she considered her first season a success.
"I was satisfied to get here, and we played well against Mount Hebron," Wolf said. "I think we did a good job."
GLENELG -- Dorsey 10, Leedom 10, Service 2, Brinker 2, Meissner 2, McCartney 2, Moore 9, Jones 3. Totals: 16 8-16 40.
MOUNT HEBRON -- Yanero 6, C. McCauley 15, Drake 8, Bryant 2, E. McCauley 13, Day 1, Benson 2. Totals: 13 18-23 47.
Glenelg 10 14 5 11 -- 40
Mt. Hebron 21 3 12 11 -- 47
FAIRMONT HEIGHTS -- Darden 16, McCoy 3, McCall 15, Ward 4, Combs 1, Gregory 11. Totals: 21 6-8 50.
PARKSIDE -- Church 13, Camper 31, Gunther 8, Smith 10, Ashley 6. Totals: 28 12 -33 68.
F.Heights 13 16 11 10 -- 50
Parkside 18 15 16 19 -- 68
Class 2A girls