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Boys basketball: Hawks lock up district title
By Justin Thomas, email@example.com
For the first time since jumping to the Class 5A level and for the first time since 2006, Hebron’s boys basketball team will enter the playoffs as a district champ.
The Hawks (ranked No. 2 in the state) are one win away from an unblemished run through district, needing just a win Tuesday against winless Denton Ryan to cap the regular season.
Hebron is the fourth consecutive team to go unbeaten in district after Marcus accomplished the feat in each of the past three seasons, advancing to state all three times with back-to-back titles the last two years.
“We obviously feel pretty good about [winning district],” said Mark Bishop, Hebron head coach. “We have one more game left and then we’re ready to move on to the bi-district round. We’ll use Thursday and Friday to get our legs back and when we find out who we’re playing, we’ll start to prep and put our game plan together.”
Because of altered rules, Hebron will not be able to use Friday for a warm-up game as they have already played the maximum number of games.
On Friday, Hebron cruised past Coppell, 56-36. The Cowboys had previously given the Hawks trouble in a 50-47 final on Jan. 22.
Jeff Hicks and Ridge Shipley led the offense with 16 points apiece, while Simi Socks scored a team-high 11 for Coppell.
The Hawks wasted little time taking control, opening with a 17-5 spurt in the first quarter before putting the Cowboys away late with a 21-5 run in the fourth.
“We’ve figured out just how much tougher games can be on the road than at home,” Bishop said. “We’ve had several tighter games on the road and it was nice to come back home and play well.”
The squad was coming off a 37-28 win over Marcus.
In a grind-it-out affair, Connor McClenaghan scored seven points, while Chase Mortenson, Chad Rehfus and Tyler Williams posted six points apiece. Jack Holden led the Marauders with 12 but no other Marcus player had more than six.
Defensively, Hebron limited Marcus to nine points in the first and fourth quarters and five points in both the second and third.
“Marcus kind of held the ball a little longer and shortened the game,” Bishop said. “It was a different style, but we’ve seen it a couple of times and were able to adjust.”
Hebron opens the playoffs next Monday or Tuesday and will enter a challenging region.
“It’s going to be a meat grinder,” Bishop said. “The first round is going to be tough and then are opponents after that are just going to be brutal. There are legitimately five teams from District 7-5A that could be ranked in the top 20, they just all play each other. But being from 5-5A, I think we are prepared. And we faced teams like DeSoto during non-district. We know what we have to do, but sometimes doing it can be a different story.”
Bishop added he believes the squad will be at full strength and isn’t worried about entering the postseason with lofty expectations.
“It’s great for the kids to be considered amongst so many good teams in the state,” he said. “But it doesn’t mean anything on the court. At the beginning of the year, I wasn’t concerned with it at all, but now I think it’s good that the kids are being recognized.”
Girls basketball: Lady Hawks fall short
A playoff berth evaded Hebron’s girls basketball team last week as the Lady Hawks lost against Marcus in a must-win scenario, 56-35.
Hebron (2-8) finished the season one game behind Lewisville (3-7) for the final playoff berth and could have forced a play-in game if they had won.
Molly Pospichal and Mary Leigh Rock scored 10 points apiece for Hebron, while Taylor Roof matched with 10 for Marcus.
Boys and girls soccer: Coppell earns sweep
Both Hebron’s boys and girls soccer teams faced difficult tasks in their respective District 5-5A openers Friday as the Hawks and Lady Hawks squared off against state-ranked Coppell.
The boys team came up short against the Cowboys (ranked No. 8 in the nation by the Elite Soccer Report), 2-0, while the girls team lost by the same margin against the Cowgirls (No. 4 in the nation).
The Hawks and Lady Hawks looked to get in the win column Tuesday with matchups against Denton Ryan (results not available as of press time).
On Friday, the Lady Hawks travel to Flower Mound at 7:30 p.m., while the boys team hosts the Jaguars at the same time.
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