Lady Eagles prepare for playoff matchup

The Lady Eagles of Hebron held off a strong rally by the Marvell Academy Lady Eagles to claim its third straight North Half Class A Tournament championship. (submitted)

The Hebron Christian School Lady Eagles won its third consecutive North Half Class A Tournament by defeating Marvell Academy 48-39 last week.

The halftime score was 23-15 in favor of Hebron, who improved its record to 19-7, with the losses mostly coming to bigger schools.

The Lady Eagles of Hebron held off a strong rally by the Marvell Academy Lady Eagles in the last 3 minutes of the fourth quarter as they went on a 9-0 run.

Leading scorer Rachael McGrew led the way on both sides of the ball with 17 points,18 rebounds and 6 blocked shots, while Caralee Smith had 13.

“(McGrew) is an animal, and when she is on, you can’t stop her,” head coach William Cotton said. “If she has an on game, nobody can stay with her.

Smith also found a hot hand from 3-point range, hitting three straight early in the winning effort.

Eliana Carter also added 7 in the winning effort, while Micah Thompson had 6; Riley Williams with 4, and McKinsey Wedel with 1.

While Hebron saw a strong showing on offense, Cotton also praised his team for its defensive play.

“Defense is where we win ballgames and our defense is just outstanding,” Cotton said. “We knew what the tendencies were going to be and we challenged every shot they took.”

McGrew, Thompson, and Smith were named to the North Half All Tournament Team.

Hebron will play Tallulah Academy out of Louisiana, who finished fourth in the South Half Tournament, in the first round of the Class A State Tournament to be played at Delta Academy in Marks.

Cotton said while Tallulah is not as strong as the No. 1 seeds in the tournament, he hopes his team can go in blind and pull out a win.

Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Tuesday.