When two 8-0 teams meet, it's a noteworthy event. And while Mount Hebron girls basketball coach Scott Robinson acknowledges today's game at Glenelg is important, it's not Armageddon.
"It's a long season, and we're on the road," Robinson said yesterday. "Obviously it's a game we want to win, but I'm not over-hyping it to the kids. It's not a crucial game."
Besides having identical overall records, the No. 11 Gladiators and No. 12 Vikings are 4-0 in the league. No. 15 Centennial, which has yet to play Mount Hebron or Glenelg, also is undefeated in the county.
Glenelg is led by seniors Kris Brust and guard Lauren Martin. Brust, a 6-foot-2 center, is averaging 21.3 points and 13.5 rebounds. She is shooting 67 percent from the field. Martin, who could become the county's all-time leading scorer by the the end of the season, is averaging 17 points, 7.8 rebounds, six assists and five steals. The 5-7 guard also has 23 three-point baskets.
While Brust and Martin are the keys, the play of Stephanie Howell and Heather Young has taken the Gladiators to the next level. Howell, a junior guard, is averaging nearly 10 points, and Young, a junior transfer from Annapolis, is averaging 8.9 points.
"I have a lot of respect for Glenelg," said Robinson. "Their starting lineup is very talented. The addition of the transfer from Annapolis has made all the difference in the world for them. Martin is a great player, Brust is good inside and Howell has really improved. They have a lot of weapons."
Glenelg won the Holiday Hoop-La Tournament in Bel Air, defeating Long Reach, 57-18, and Bel Air, 65-35. Gladiators coach Ciaran Lesikar said he went into the tournament emphasizing defense, and his team didn't disappoint.
"We couldn't have been any happier with their intensity, their foot movement and their execution as far as what we were trying to do defensively," Lesikar said.
Glenelg is averaging 63 points offensively and holding teams to 40 points defensively.
Mount Hebron's defense has been very stingy, allowing only 30 points per game. Offensively, the Vikings are averaging 65 points, led by 5-11 sophomore center Erin Jaschik (13.8 average) and 5-10 junior forward Lauren Kickham (10.5).
Jaschik is shooting 70 percent from the field. "She's tough," Robinson said. "She has a great right hand and a great left hand. She can go either way."
The combination of Jaschik and Kickham "gives us a really good inside game," said Robinson.
Robinson said one reason the team has been successful is because it is protecting the ball better. "We've really cut down the number of turnovers," Robinson said. "Our guards [Bridget Frande, Mia Molfino, Jill Carr] are handling the ball a lot better than last year and our big kids can handle the ball."
The one area that Mount Hebron has an edge is depth.
But the Vikings don't have someone like Martin, who has led the county in three-point shooting the last three seasons.
"We know she's going to get her points, we just have to somehow limit the number she gets," Robinson said.
The game represents the toughest challenge to date for either team. Both squads have defeated Wilde Lake and Long Reach. Mount Hebron has defeated one ranked team -- handing No. 17 Catonsville its only loss of the season, 71-44, in the second game of the season.
Pub Date: 1/06/99