Hebron Christian opened up their Region 3 campaign against the region-favorite Winona Christian Thursday night. It took more than four quarters for Gary Vaughn and his Eagles and their electric fans to get by the Stars. A Troy Arnold put-back in overtime gave Hebron all they needed with a 54-52 victory.
“It was a big district win for us,” commented Coach Vaughn after the win, “I’m just real proud of them, this was a team victory.”
During the first quarter, Winona came out shining as the Stars put together an 11-2 run in the first two minutes of play. The Eagles though were able to end a three minute scoring drought when Hebron’s offensive catalyst Will Corbin Rogers hit a three pointer sparking a 13-3 Eagle run to close the quarter, 18-15 Winona. Rogers finished the quarter with 9 points and James Allen Moore contributed 6 points. The second quarter saw the Eagles continuing to press the issue. After trailing 25-21 at the midway point in the quarter, Hebron tied the game at 25, but the Stars had no part in keeping the game that way for long. Winona finished the half with their three-point lead still intact 30-27.
Hebron opened up the second half with a 9-2 run during the first three minutes of the third quarter earning the Eagles a 4 point lead. But the Stars did not lay down as they put together a 6-0 run of their own, dashing the Hebron lead and finishing the quarter ahead 40-39. A game that could be described as very skillful turned physical as the referees somewhat lost control in the fourth quarter. Both Hebron and Winona had their chances in the final stretches, but neither team could put the dagger in as the game went into overtime tied up 50-50.
Hebron’s Hayden Carty opened the scoring for the Eagles in the four-minute overtime. Carty’s bucket was answered by Winona and the game remained tied until Arnold’s put back gave Hebron the final lead change of the night 54-52 with over a minute left to play. Though Hebron could not convert a handful of opportunities from the free throw line, the Stars could not find the tying or go ahead bucket allowing for the Eagles to clinch the district victory 54-52 in overtime.
Hebron had great contribution from their bench against Winona as Arnold (6 points) and Collin Moore (4 points) contributed ten points combined and put in solid minutes on the floor. The play from the bench definitely helped put the Eagles in a position for success even though there points total was low. The valuable minutes they put on the floor helped the starting five get some rest and come back on the court rejuvenated.
“Troy came on strong even though we did not start him and played a really solid game,” said Coach Vaughn on his bench play, “Collin Moore too came off the bench [playing well] and hit those clutch free throws.”
Rogers finished the night leading scorer with 19 points, James Allen Moore had 14 points and Carty contributed with 11.
The Eagle win makes the road a little more smoother during district play as seeding for District Tournament will start to become a factor later in the season. On Tuesday night December 4, Hebron will make a road trip north to Calhoun Academy for another district contest against the rival Cougars. Tip-off is set for ten minutes after the Lady Eagles’ game is completed.