Last night, No. 6 Mount Hebron showed just how far it has come this season.
With a 60-25 victory over No. 18 Glenelg, the host Vikings rolled to their 10th straight Howard County league win.
Earlier, the Vikings (14-6 overall, 11-1 league) struggled to put their game together. But in the last month and a half, they have rebounded to win 11 of 13 games.
"I'm not sure I could put my finger on exactly what happened [to turn the season around]," said Vikings guard Emily Yanero, who scored 27 against Glenelg. "Defensively, we have really picked things up. Everyone's stepping up when they need to. That's what's really been helping us."
Vikings coach Dave Greenberg dates the turnaround to the team's Jan. 29 victory over Oakland Mills. Trailing by six in the third quarter with 6-foot-2 center Rachel Cimmier on the bench in foul trouble, the Vikings rallied. They outscored Oakland Mills, 45-19, in the second half to take a 65-41 win.
"From that point on, we've played pretty well," said Greenberg. "Tonight, I thought defensively, we were just awesome."
Two big factors in the Vikings' late-season surge have been guards Kathy Doyle and Alisha Mosley.
Doyle, who suffered an ankle injury early in the season, is back at 100 percent. The quickest of the Vikings, she was exceptional on defense last night and scored a season-high 14 points.
Point guard Mosley provided the spark in the Vikings' half-court defense that forced 24 Glenelg turnovers. Mosley finished with seven steals, eight points, six assists and five rebounds.
Last night's victory came a bit easier than expected -- Glenelg had played very well in its previous two games. The Gladiators (15-6, 8-5)took a 4-0 lead on two baskets and a steal by Jill Younce. But the lead didn't last long.
Once Mosley fed Yanero for a 17-footer to tie the score at four, the Vikings rolled. They ran up an 18-4 lead before Glenelg scored again.
After that, Glenelg never got closer than 12 points.
"Mount Hebron played very well, and we couldn't buy a basket," said Glenelg coach Randy Wallenhorst, whose team was 8-for-38 from the field. "We were getting good open shots -- they just didn't fall. When that happens, I've got to chalk it up to one of those nights."
For Mount Hebron, however, it was one of those nights when almost everything went its way. The Vikings continued to get good performances from Sarah Eberhart and Erin McGinnis off the bench.
Starting forward Kristen Lloyd and Cimmier added just two points each, but they kept Glenelg out of the middle, holding forwards Trish Kilroy and Gracia Walker to just five total points. They also combined for 15 rebounds.