Hawks wear out the Farmers, 56-41

Senior forward Justin Montgomery goes up for a tough fade away shot in the paint

The Hawks won their first district home game of the year Tuesday night in front of a big crowd.

Hebron controlled most of the game and had an equal balance of scoring among players, which allowed them to control the pace and score efficiently. Six different players scored, with junior forward Tyler Williams leading the way with 19 points. Senior center Connor McClenaghan was able to stay out of foul trouble for most of the game, which allowed him to contribute 12 points of his own and give the Hawks a big defensive presence in the paint. Hebron executed their offensive plays  better than I have ever seen this season. The increased offensive production and intensity seemed to translate to the defensive side of the ball, as the Hawks held their opponent under 55 points for the twelfth straight game. Their only loss during that streak: a 51-49 loss to a good Allen team. If the Hawks are able to score 50 or more points the rest of the season, then they will be hard to beat, especially when they play at home.

A player that has stepped up a lot for the Hawks in the last few games has been Justin Montgomery. Montgomery was a starting receiver for the football team, so he didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for basketball when the season started. He hadn’t made much of a contribution this season until the last five games. In the last five games, Montgomery has averaged 6.4 points a game, including 10 points that he scored against Lewisville last night. While those don’t seem like big numbers, an additional six points a game is huge to a team that struggles to score at times. Montgomery also brings more size to an undersized team. When McClenaghan gets in foul trouble, the Hawks now have Montgomery along with senior forward LaRandall Scroggins as reliable backups.

Heading into the last six games of the season, the Hawks will have to play tough district teams in order to get to the playoffs. They will have to play Marcus and Coppell twice, and also play Flower Mound and Lewisville one more time each. Marcus is looking like the formidable team they were two years ago when Marcus Smart and Phil Forte lead them to a state title. Coppell is no pushover either, beating both Allen and Garland Lakeview by double digits. Hebron lost to Allen and Lakeview earlier in the year. District games are also much more competitive than other games, since each team is fighting for the right to be district champion. The Hawks have gotten off to a great 2-0 start in district play, but the team will need to win most of their remaining games if they want to have a shot at another title run.

Final Score: Hebron 56 Lewisville 41   The Hawks play Marcus at Marcus High School on Friday, January 17.