Centennial and Wilde Lake became county co-champions yesterday, but it wasn't easy.
The eighth-ranked Eagles scored only one basket in the fourth quarter but held on to beat host Mount Hebron, 29-27. It was a costly victory for Centennial (17-5 overall, 16-2 league) as sophomore point guard Stacie Tokasz, who started most of the season, broke her left foot in the second quarter.
Wilde Lake, the defending county champion, trailed visiting Oakland Mills by 12 points late in the first half before rallying for a 52-41 victory. The Wildecats (18-4, 16-2) outscored the Scorpions, 16-5, in the final quarter.
"This doesn't take away from winning the county championship, but we're disappointed in the sense that we didn't play well," said Centennial coach Dave Greenberg. "But give Mount Hebron credit. They played hard and played well."
Centennial, which got a game-high 13 points from Kathleen O'Connor, including three three-point baskets, led 25-20 entering the final quarter. Mount Hebron, which had lost by 28 points to Centennial Jan. 17, pulled to within 27-25 on a basket by Tracey Bounds.
Both teams missed opportunities to score before sophomore Alexia Vogler made both one-and-one free throws -- her only points of the game -- with 10 seconds remaining to give Centennial a 29-25 lead.
Freshman Lauren Kickham led Mount Hebron with eight points. Said Vikings coach Scott Robinson of his team's effort: "I'm very, very proud of them."
Wilde Lake Kelly Storr, whose team outscored Oakland Mills 33-13 in the second half, was very happy for her team's second straight county title.
"It's a real good feeling," said Storr, who doesn't have a senior on the 12-player roster. "Last year, I felt we backed into it. This year, we had to work hard to get it."
Two three-point plays by Bridget White helped give Wilde Lake a 10-2 lead 3: 12 into the first quarter. But Oakland Mills (11-11, 10-8) ran off 11 straight points and finished with a 13-12 lead at the end of the quarter.
The Scorpions continued to outhustle Wilde Lake into the second quarter and outscored the ninth-ranked Wildecats, 15-4, for a 28-16 lead with two minutes left before halftime.
Wilde Lake scored the last three points of the second quarter, trimming its deficit to 28-19, then ran off the first six points of the third quarter. Toni White's basket with three seconds left tied the game for Wilde Lake at 36-all entering the final quarter.
Oakland Mills was hurt in the third quarter when 6-2 center Kena Hodges picked up her third foul with six minutes left and her fourth with 1: 10 remaining. That meant she began the fourth quarter sitting on the bench.
Hodges' replacement, DoWare Merchant, picked up a technical foul with 6: 11 remaining when she elbowed Wilde Lake's Jesse Roy-Harrison. Bridget White (14 points) made both technical free throws, then added a basket 13 seconds later for a 40-36 lead.
Hodges (14 points) re-entered the game with 5: 15 left and her team down, 42-36. She scored two free throws with 4: 49 remaining, but Toni White's three-point basket gave Wilde Lake a 45-38 cushion never relinquished.
Pub Date: 2/20/97