Hebron girls hold off Vardaman for 47-44 win

Rachel McGrew attempts a free throw against Vardaman Thursday night.
Staff Writer

Hebron Christian led for much of Thursday night’s contest against Vardaman, building a 30-10 halftime lead.

However, a second half Rams comeback would lead to the Lady Eagles having to watch as a potential game-tying three-pointer by Caroline Casey fell short, preserving the Hebron 47-44 win.

“We did not go back and play defense in the second half,” Hebron Christian head coach William Cotton said. “We just let them get the ball inside way too much. We just didn’t do what we were supposed to do in the second half.”

The Lady Eagles led 13-6 after the first quarter and went on an 8-1 run to start the second quarter, capped by a Eliana Carter layup, making the score 21-7 with 4:11 left until halftime.

Hebron closed the first half on a 7-0 run, aided by a floater by Carter, a long two-point basket by McKinsey Wedel and a buzzer beating layup by Wedel to send the Lady Eagles to the locker room with a 30-10 advantage.

Vardaman would open the third quarter on an 8-0 run to pull the Lady Rams to within 12, before Carter intercepted a bad pass and took it for a layup to make the score 32-18 with 3:27 left in the third quarter.

A three-point basket by Vardaman’s Monica Wright with 48 seconds left would cut the Hebron lead to 41-29 after three quarters of play.

Micah Thompson would hit a layup early in the fourth quarter to stretch the Lady Eagles’ lead to 43-29, however, that lead would start to slowly disintegrate as Hebron only scored four more points the rest of the way.

Vardaman’s Casey hit a three-pointer to ignite a 7-0 run for the Lady Rams. Casey scored all seven points during the scoring run, cutting the Hebron lead to 43-36 with 2:43 remaining. Caralee Smith would make a layup to push the Lady Eagles’ lead back to nine with 2:06 left.

The Lady Rams would go on another run, outscoring Hebron 5-0 in 1:14, to pull to within 45-41 on an Ariauna Nash layup with 1:29 left in the game. Rachel McGrew would go to the foul line and convert both free-throws with 36 seconds remaining to give the Lady Eagles a 47-41 lead.

Casey then sank a three-pointer for Vardaman to make it a one possession game at 47-44. After two missed free throws by Wedel, Casey would get a good look to tie the game, but her final shot was just short off the front rim, allowing Hebron to survive a 47-44 win.

McGrew finished the game with 13 points and 17 rebounds, while Carter also added 13 points and finished with seven boards. Casey had 13 points for Vardaman, all of which came in the second half, while Sarah Wooten finished with 12.

Cotton attributed McGrew’s big night to her being able to stay out of foul trouble for much of the game.

“I told her ‘If you want good stats, if you want to score points, you’ve got to find a way to stay in the game,’” Cotton said. “Plus, it helps us win. It’s hard for us to win without her on the floor. We have done it and we will continue to try and do it, but its a whole lot easier when I have all five of my starters on the floor when I need them.”