It wasn't the convincing victory that Mount Hebron had hoped for, but last night's 38-35 win over homestanding and second-seeded Broadneck was all the third-seeded Vikings needed to advance to tomorrow's Class 3A East Region final.
The Vikings, who lost to eventual state champion Howard in last year's region semifinals, got the job done last night by hitting their foul shots when they had to and forcing turnovers when it counted most.
As a result, No. 11 Mount Hebron will play host to No. 13 Howard, a 66-57 winner over Poly, in the region finale.
"We know if we play hard and we play smart and we play together, we can hang with anybody," said Mount Hebron first-year coach Pat Becker. "But if we don't do any of those three things we're going to lose to everybody. We can lose to the worst team or we can beat the best, if we play together."
Junior guard Alisha Mosley is only 5-foot-6, but she came up big for the Vikings, scoring 16 points and registering nine assists.
Mount Hebron used its superior speed to penetrate the lane and draw fouls. The 18th-ranked Bruins (16-7) only went to the foul line twice during the game, while the Vikings (17-7) converted 12 of 25 free throws.
Broadneck led 12-9 after the first quarter and went ahead 18-13 midway through the second on a layup by senior Katie Forthofer.
Four straight points by Kathy Doyle -- two coming on a jumper from just inside the arc and the other two at the foul line -- brought the Vikings to within 18-17 with 1:27 left in the half and a quick set shot by 5-4 junior Sarah Eberhart (seven points) helped the visitors take a 22-20 halftime lead.
Jill Smith, who led Broadneck with 15 points, opened the second half with a three-pointer and then tied the game at 25 with a jumper.
Mosley closed the third quarter by scoring the Vikings' final six points for a 33-29 lead.
The Vikings scored just five points in the fourth quarter but Broadneck failed to capitalize. Two baskets by Sarah Brino -- her only points of the game -- and another field goal by Taci Williams was all the Bruins could muster.
Broadneck had a chance to tie the score and send the game into overtime but Smith's three-pointer at the buzzer had the right line but not the distance.
"We just didn't finish well, especially early on," said Broadneck coach Bruce Springer. "We missed a lot of shots from inside early that would have changed the whole complexion of the game if we dropped some of those in, but we didn't."
* Parkside 73, Northeast 59: Jill Livezey scored 29 points, including 12 of 12 from the foul line in the fourth quarter, to lead second-seeded Parkside over visiting and third-seeded Northeast in a 2A East region semifinal game.
Meleah Ray scored 15 and Jen Johansen added 11 to lead Northeast (13-11).