PHEBA - Hebron's offense had a tough time clicking Thursday night, fortunately, their defense wasn't.
The Lady Eagles (12-7) overcame a two point second quarter slump to pull out a 37-29 win over Class AAA Heritage Academy. It was the fourth consecutive win for the girls who are now 6-0 at home this season.
"I was most pleased with how we played on defense tonight," head coach William Cotton said. "Our offense wasn't near up to snuff. We tired to switch it up between man to man and zone and box out their best shooter. All the defensive strategy worked."
Heritage handed Hebron their first loss of the season in the opener for both teams back in November.
The Lady Eagles scored 13-points in the opening quarter before going ice cold in the second. The Lady Pats scored four points off of back-to-back turnovers and with less than two minutes left to play in the half, cut the lead to two, 15-13.
Hebron found a spark early in the third quarter, starting much like the first, going on an 8-2 run including a 3-pointer by Beverly Blake that stretched the lead to five. The girls scored 13-points in the third to pad the advantage a little more, 28-19.
Heritage cut the lead to six once again with 25 seconds left to play. Hebron ate up at least 10 seconds before Heritage finally fouled and sending Blake to the line where she knocked down a pair of free-throws.
Cotton said the offense was clicking well before the holidays, but has taken some time to get back into rhythm after the break.
Blake finished with 13-points including three 3-pointers and was 4-of-6 from the line. Tori Nichols had 17-points while Alaina Hill finished with six. The girls continue their five game home stand tonight when they host Kemper Academy in district play.
Boys: Heritage 68-49 Hebron
Ben Pearson was lights out from long range, but the Eagles had a tough time stopping the big men inside as they were handed their second straight loss since defeating Starkville Christian.
Pearson scored a team-high 24-points and had six 3-pointers, all in the second half.
"We played well," head coach Tri Nason said. "But when you have bigger guys in there, you have to hope they have an off night. They didn't shoot as well from the outside, and that's what helped us stay in the game for so long, but their big guys took it to us."
Heritage clearly had a height advantage and really controlled the inside of the paint and quickly had a 14-6 lead with less than three minutes to go in the opening quarter. David Kinard knocked down a three to trim the deficit and get their home fans behind them.
Still trailing in the second quarter, Hebron cut the lead to 10-points, but but the end of the half, Heritage had a 30-19 cushion.
Pearson found his groove in the second half, his second three-ball cut the lead to five again before Heritage would score on the other end and keep that double-digit advantage into the fourth.
"He did well tonight," Nason said of Pearson. "He just needed to throw it up there and watch it go in. But we're still shaking the rust off some of the guys."
Both teams shot better in the second half, with Heritage outscoring Hebron 38-30 on the floor.
The Eagles return home tonight when they host Kemper in district action, and hoping to get that second crucial win.
"If you lose, you have to climb out of a hole," said Nason. "We're going to try and come in the first quarter wide open and just see where it takes us."View more articles in: