On Dec. 10, the Mt. Hebron boys varsity basketball team knocked off the Hawks of River Hill, led by seniors Gary Sandler (15 points) and Charlie Thomas IV (16 points). Nearly all game, the Vikings trailed the Hawks, heading into halftime down 29-18. But with 90 seconds left, the Vikings started to take control of the momentum.
With a few notable turnovers committed by River Hill and a handful of transitional points scored by Mt. Hebron, the Vikings ended up with possession of the ball when Social Studies teacher and Coach Mike Linsenmeyer called a decisive timeout to gather the young men together, giving them a few seconds to regain their energy and coming up with a scheme for a last minute play.
Within seconds of in-bounding the ball, senior Mark Smith was dished the ball outside the corner of the arc, where he drained a go-ahead three-pointer to take the lead. With only a few seconds left to play, River Hill called a quick timeout, which then led to a last-second desperation floater that bounced off the backboard and missed. Just like that, the Vikings pulled off their first home win of the year.
“It was extremely important for us to set the tone that coming to Mt. Hebron is not going to be an easy game for anyone,” Smith said. “Our home games are no longer going to be pushover games for other teams.”
Smith finished the night with 14 points, while senior Aaron Smith dropped 20. Seniors Josh Bryant and Connor Maloney were instrumental playmakers, finishing the game with 6 points apiece.
Maloney stated how as a team, they “played poorly at the beginning of the game, but stepped it up at the end to pull out the win.”
After a commanding win at home and another win on Dec. 12 over reigning County Champs Atholton Raiders, Mt. Hebron stands at a record of 2-1, carrying an opening-season loss to Oakland Mills.
Mark Smith believed that preparing for the Raiders was difficult. “They slow down the pace of the game extremely well and are very disciplined,” he said. “It was important for us to make sure that we boxed out their big men from getting offensive rebounds and limited their number of quality possessions.”
This is certainly looking to be the beginning of a strong season for the Vikings, and with loyal fans filling the stands at each game, the Mt. Hebron community looks forward to more wins in these next few weeks.
The next game for the Varsity Boys team will be Dec. 17 at 5:30 pm at Marriotts Ridge.