No. 11 Mount Hebron had too much depth and too much three-point firepower for an upset-minded South Carroll squad in the championship game of the Mount Hebron Holiday Classic last night.
The Vikings, who defeated the Cavaliers, 65-54, also had Kurtis Jestes, who scored 31 points and made six of nine three-point attempts.
Every time the Cavaliers cut into Mount Hebron's lead, the Vikings (8-0) hit a couple of three-pointers or ran off a couple of fast-break layups.
Jestes, who is averaging 23.8 points, continued to display an outstanding three-point shooting ability for the Vikings.
When South Carroll (2-5) cut Mount Hebron's lead to 44-40 with 58 seconds left in the third quarter, Jestes responded by sinking a three-pointer for a 47-40 lead.
Jestes opened the fourth quarter with another three-pointer for a 50-40 Vikings edge. Then he scored in the lane to make it 52-40.
"Jestes was awesome," South Carroll coach Jim Carnes said. "We were concentrating on trying to shut him down but he hurt us early and then when we made a run."
After Tom Luster (11 points, 14 rebounds) scored for South Carroll, Jestes hit another three-pointer for a 55-42 bulge that was finally too much for a tired South Carroll squad.
Carnes went with his starting lineup almost the entire game and in the fourth quarter they had little left.
The Cavaliers pulled within 31-23 at halftime after trailing 28-14, but Jestes opened up the third quarter by scoring on a fast break layup. Another Jestes' fast-break layup made it 37-26.
Point guard Greg Mihalko, who played a heady game for the Cavaliers, drew a charge in the backcourt against Steve Dohler, and Jon Strebe's basket from the corner made it 37-28.
But Jestes' three-pointer made it 40-28.
"Jestes has played tremendously for us this year," Mount Hebron coach Scott Robinson said. "He's a gym rat who works on his game all the time and has really improved his ball handling."
The Vikings substituted frequently, bringing in 6-foot-7 Patrick Ngongba, junior forward Todd Petrlik and junior forward Kevin Tonkins to keep the starting five fresh.
Ngongba scored nine points and had five rebounds during an eight-minute first-half effort.
Mount Hebron went up 15-5 early in the first quarter by creating a series of steals off South Carroll passes to the low post.
The Cavaliers rallied to 19-14 at the end of the quarter due to a cold-shooting spell by the Vikings who missed several easy shots.
Ngongba scored seven of Mount Hebron's first 10 points in the second quarter.
"He's going to be a Division I player," Carnes said.