Hebron closes season fourth in MAIS tournament

Staff Writer

The Hebron Christian School Lady Eagles saw its successful season come to a close over the weekend with losses in the MAIS Class A State Tournament to Riverdale Academy and Tensas Academy.

The Lady Eagles (20-9) struggled with the press defense against eventual state champs Riverdale, losing 62-38, before a hard-fought loss to Tensas Academy for the third place spot in the tournament.

McKinsey Wedel led the way offensively against Riverdale, with 13 points. Eliana Carter and Caralee Smith both scored seven in the losing effort, while Micah Thompson and Rachael McGrew contributed six and five, respectively.

“We can’t take anything away from (Riverdale),” head coach William Cotton said. “They are a powerhouse ball club. We struggled handling their press, but my girls never let down, never quit.”

The Lady Eagles then took on Tensas Academy on Saturday, but came up short in a 51-44 loss for the third place spot.

“They beat us … but we were ahead 28-21 at the half and shooting went cold second half,” Cotton said. “It’s just the way the ball bounces.”

In the third place game, Smith finished with 14 points, while Wedel scored 13 and Carter contributed 10.

McGrew also put down seven points in the losing effort against Tensas.

Following the action on the court, Smith and Wedel were both named to the state All-Tournament Team.

“I was proud of what they accomplished for the whole year,” Cotton said. “As far as next year, we’re getting ready right now.”

Despite this season’s success for the Lady Eagles, Cotton said he is already looking forward to returning all but one all-star senior, Eliana Carter.

“Riverdale started four seniors and Tensas started four seniors, so both of them will be in a rebuilding mode next year,” Cotton said. “We will be a little bit more prepared to meet them next year.”

Cotton said Carter will be difficult to replace, but he said the talent returning will be ready to make another run for a state title.

“We have a strong powerhouse nucleus coming back,” Cotton said. “Both post players are coming back, both made all-district, all north-half, so we have some really good girls coming back for next year.”