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Heritage, CVCS lead by example in tournament

February 24, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

Both of the Mason Dixon Christian Conference regular-season leaders proved why they topped the standings on Saturday at St. Maria Goretti's Gael Center.

The Heritage Academy boys stamped out a 65-43 victory over defending champion Cumberland Valley Christian to win its first tournament title since 2001. CVCS didn't go home empty-handed, though, winning its second straight girls title with a 55-46 decision over Heritage.

Heritage won its two MDCC games with CVCS but lost to the Blazers in a holiday tournament, but coach Mike Kidd didn't use that as a revenge motive.

"I didn't really talk to the players about it, but I just didn't want us to be the (New England) Patriots and go through unbeaten in the conference," said Kidd.

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The Eagles (22-2) took control early from the outside and kept up the pace inside as tournament MVP Hamilton Stamper took charge with a 25-point, 15-rebound performance.

Andrew Hendershot canned a pair of 3-pointers to help Heritage to a 8-0 just two minutes into the game and didn't stop there. Stamper had a pair of baskets and Steven Barthalow drained two 3-pointers to give Heritage a stunning 22-5 lead after one period.

"One of our best first quarters of the year," said Kidd. "We planned on kicking the ball inside right away but we had open shots, took them and shot well."

Stamper added six points in the second period and Heritage hit a trio of 3-pointers and molded a 39-17 halftime lead by hitting 15 of 26 from the floor.

CVCS (18-8) rallied after the intermission with a quick 8-0 run, including six points from leading scorer Scott Levy (15 points). Heritage regained control, pounding the ball inside time and again to Stamper, who used his 6-foot-5, 240-pound frame to score 11 third-quarter points.

"It feels good getting the (MVP) award," said Stamper. "That's about hard work. We've got a lot of weapons on this team and we wanted to be aggressive today."

Hendershot added 18 points and Barthalow had 13 for the Eagles, who shot 56 percent and held a 32-22 rebounding margin.

Heritage will be the second seed in next week's Maryland Christian Schools state tournament. The Eagles will face Washington Christian Academy on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Girls championship game

Miranda Payne proved she can do more than just score to lead CVCS (21-5) past Heritage (18-7).

Payne, CVCS's prolific scorer, hit only 4 of 14 from the floor, but her ability to drive to draw fouls and to pass kept Heritage at bay. Those gifts allowed her to get to the foul line 16 times, hitting nine shots, as she scored a team-high 17 points to go with 10 rebounds and eight assists to earn MVP honors.

"Miranda struggled with her shot, but the difference in her game this year has been her ability to draw fouls, dish off and create so many things," said CVCS coach Jon Shannon.

CVCS led 20-13 at the half, but Both teams struggled early with CVCS in greater control leading 7-3 at the first stop and 20-13 at halftime.

Morgan McIntire scored 11 points - including two 3-pointers - in the third quarter to help Heritage close to within 32-28. The Eagles got closer as Andrea Clark hit two free throws to open the fourth period, but Heritage followed with three scoreless possessions to allo the Blazers to regain a 37-30 lead with 5:40 left when Payne hit Kim Sensenderfer for an inside basket.

Heritage fought back with a 7-0 run, including six by McIntire, but CVCS answered with two scores off turnovers to keep the game well in hand.

Sensenderfer had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Blazers. McIntire ended with 28 points for Heritage Academy.

"Our defense hung tough and I thought (Kim) got some really tough rebounds for us," said Shannon.

Third-Place game

Broadfording Christian won the boys consolation with a 52-40 victory over Shalom Christian.

Armondo Miller scored 19 points and Devin Gourdine and Steve Economes each added 11. Matt Horner and Tyler Strite had 11 points each for Shalom.

Notes: The boys all-tournament team: MVP Stamper; Hendershot, Barthalow and Charles McBeth and Andrew Larson (CVCS).

The girls all-tournament team: MVP Payne, Sensenderfer and Kendra Myers (CVCS) and McIntire and Bri Dorsey (Heritage).

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