By Will Nations
BENTON — After claiming their eighth District 3-A title in nine seasons, the Hebron Christian Lady Eagles were searching for another triumphant weekend.
Standing in their way was the District 4-A champions, the Carroll Lady Rebels, in the MAIS Class-A North-Central tournament championship game.
Behind strong second and third quarters, Carroll claimed the North-Central title over Hebron, 56-43, Saturday evening at Benton Academy.
“I am proud of my kids for getting to the championship game because we are a real young ball club,” Hebron Head Coach Bruce Franks said. “Playing in this final is a real big step toward being good next year … We should be a lot better next year.
“We lost our composure,” Franks added. “Carroll wanted to press and run. We played our game in the first quarter, but we played their game the rest of the time. Carroll has a good ball club.”
With an 18-14 lead after the first eight minutes, the Lady Rebels expanded their four-point advantage before the break, opening the second quarter with a 10-0 run. Reaching a double-digit lead, Carroll coasted into the break ahead of Hebron, 36-25.
After halftime, Carroll continued its control over the game as Hebron lost four of its five starters to foul trouble. The Lady Rebels narrowly outpaced the Lady Eagles in the final 16 minutes (20-18).
Hebron grabbed three spots on the North-Centrall tournament team as freshman Rebekah Falkner, sophomore Victoria Ferguson and senior Alaina Hill were acknowledged after the game.
“You could pick any of the girls to be on the team,” Franks said about the all-tournament selections. “It’s a big plus when you have players that are all around. Alaina Hill played her heart out today.”
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