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River Hill leaves Mount Hebron behind, 56-40


The rivalry between Mount Hebron and River Hill has intensified this school year.

The Vikings upset River Hill on a last-second field goal in football.

They upset the Hawks on a last-second shot in overtime in boys basketball.

They beat River Hill twice in wrestling - once in the state playoffs.

But they failed to upset the No. 12-ranked Hawks basketball team last night at River Hill.

Kevin Steenberge made sure of that by scoring 27 points, grabbing 19 rebounds and blocking 10 shots as the Hawks won, 56-40, and captured at least a share of the county championship - the first in school history.

The Hawks (17-4 overall, 14-3 league) won their ninth straight and have a one-game lead over Long Reach with one game left on Tuesday at Howard.

"We wanted this more than anything," Steenberge said.

But there was no major celebration by the Hawks - not like the one staged earlier this season when Mount Hebron scored its upset. The Vikings' fans stormed the court and lined the way to River Hill's bus four deep, shouting at the Hawks.

"We didn't forget that," Steenberge said. "We didn't play pretty tonight, but we did enough to win it. I was getting nervous about our missed free throws and turnovers, and we definitely need to play better in the playoffs."

He seemed fully recovered from a nasty spill last Friday against Centennial - a spill that sent him to a hospital emergency room Sunday, complaining of difficulty swallowing and breathing.

Bobby Macheel sank three three-point baskets for Mount Hebron in the first period as the Vikings jumped to a 12-6 avantage and led 14-10 after one period.

River Hill then worked the ball to Steenberge, who scored nine points in the second period, as the Hawks rallied to lead at halftime, 28-20.

"He [Steenberge] is a great player," said Mount Hebron's Brian Kurtzman who, along with Macheel, attempted to guard the 6-10, Richmond-bound senior.

"You have to front him, and then get someone on his back as soon as the pass is made. But the backside help wasn't coming fast enough, and their shots were all falling. Last time we did a great job shooting; tonight, our shots weren't falling."

Mount Hebron (11-10. 8-9) shot 16-for-57 (29.8 percent) from the field and failed to get to the foul line (4-for-10) often enough. River Hill was 16-for-29 at the line.

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