By Bryan Davis
Coming into the Central State tournament on Tuesday night, the Hebron Christian Eagles needed a good start to secure a spot at the State Tournament in Benton next week.
They got that start against the delta boys from Sharkey-Issaquena Academy. They defeated the Confederates 62-46.
Carlton Clay, who came into the game with a slightly injured thumb, proved he was ready to go, as he scored 33 points on the night. That combined with a good outside game led to the Hebron win.
“Between the three-pointers, the free throws and the defensive game, I couldn’t have asked the guys to have played a better game,” said Hebron head coach Greg Watkins.
The Eagles came out of the gates, firing up three-pointers, hitting five of them in the first quarter alone. The boys would end up with 10 three-pointers on the night.
Hebron scored 21 points in the opening period, and they held the Confederates to just eight.
That lead would remain the same after the second, when Hebron and Sharkey-Issaquena put up 11 points each, leaving Hebron in charge at the end of two, leading by a 33-19 score.
In the second half, the boys had another good defensive effort, allowing just a dozen points to the Confederates in the first eight minutes. Hebron scored 11 in the third.
In the final quarter, Hebron got 16 more, while allowing 18 to Sharkey.
On the night, Hebron was 18-for-21 from the free throw line.
David Kinard was second on the team in scoring with 10 points. Chad Smith scored nine, Will Corbin Rogers had seven, and Ben Pearson put up six points on the night for the Eagles, who will face the winner of Wednesday’s Kemper vs. Clinton Christian game tomorrow at 6 p.m.