Hammond senior forward Rene Hines said the No. 5 Golden Bears may have been a little apprehensive going into last night's game at No. 13 South Carroll.
Her team had lost to Howard by three on Friday, the same team which South Carroll beat by 17 a few days before that.
So Hines took matters into her own hands in the first half last night and her teammates followed her lead with a strong second half to provide Hammond with a 47-33 win over the Cavaliers in Winfield.
It was the third ranked team the Golden Bears (3-1) went up against in the past four days, leaving coach Joe Russo in a "we'll take anything" mode.
He got 25 points from Hines -- including 13 of the Bears' 15 first-half points -- some solid, in-your-face defense and a good night at the free-throw line (14 of 17) to hold off the Cavaliers.
"We definitely got off to a slow start," Hines said. "We were kind of scared at first having lost to Howard and seeing what [South Carroll] did against them. Once we got in our flow and played with confidence, we played like we expected to."
The Golden Bears missed 27 of the 34 shots they took in the first half and a three-pointer from Hines was the only basket they got in a first quarter that saw the Cavaliers (3-2) take a 9-3 lead.
The Cavaliers didn't do much better, missing 18 of their 22 shots from the field and going four-for-10 from the foul line.
Five straight baskets by Hines -- a steal and layup, a follow, two short turnarounds and a nice move inside -- gave the Golden Bears their first lead at 13-12 and Debbie Ferreira added a jumper 45 seconds before halftime.
"It took us a little time to warm up," Russo said. "It was pretty ugly for awhile, but I just told them to keep playing the good defense and the shots will eventually fall."
The Cavaliers got five points from senior forward Shannan Henley early in the third quarter and back-to-back baskets from senior center Ce Wagener (11 points) in the last minute to take a 27-26 lead going into the fourth quarter.
After three lead changes early in the fourth, the Bears pulled away with jumpers from Lauren Traber and Hines midway through and nine of 11 free throws down the stretch.
"It was frustrating to watch," said South Carroll coach Al Skierski. "We were hustling, playing 100 percent and working hard. But it was like spinning wheels on ice, we just didn't get anywhere. They were very active defensively, had their hands up in our faces and it was bothersome."
* Woodlawn 61, No. 4 Arundel 52: The host Warriors erased a 12-point lead with a 28-7 fourth-quarter run to the defended Class 4A champion Wildcats. Stephanie McPherson scored 18 points to lead the Warriors and Carissa Ingram-Hall added 16.
Pub Date: 12/17/96