CARROLLTON — What began on a celebratory note for the Hebron athletics community on Friday night ended in a pivotal District 6-6A victory for visiting Lewisville.
The Farmers won the first varsity boys basketball game inside the newly minted Hebron Activity Center, keeping the Hawks at bay for a 64-59 victory that bolstered Lewisville’s hopes of a return to the postseason.
As the district’s standings fluctuate by the night in the race for the third and fourth playoff spots in the conference, the Farmers picked up steam on Friday thanks to losses for Plano and Plano East. As a result, Lewisville moved into a tie for third place with the Wildcats at 6-6 and one game ahead of the Hawks, who are tied with East at 5-7.
The win snapped a three-game skid for Farmers, who suffered narrow losses to Coppell and Marcus leading up to Friday’s ballgame.
“I think we’ve grown a lot. I feel like we played well enough to beat Coppell and we were in it against Marcus but just didn’t make enough plays,” said Brian Miller, Lewisville head coach. “I felt like there was still a lot of good in those games, but it was nice to get out of the slump tonight and this was a big one with them having already beat us. Hopefully we can carry this one forward.”
Despite a hot start over the first quarter-and-a-half, the Farmers’ offense slowed to a crawl against an active Hebron zone defense midway through the second quarter. The Hawks allowed just one field goal over the final five minutes of the half and managed to trim a 10-point deficit to just two at 28-26 by halftime.
“They went to a zone, so we just told our guys to be aggressive,” Miller said. “Stop looking at the zone and attack.”
The Farmers did just that to lead off the third quarter, rarely allowing Hebron to so much as set its half-court defense. Be it a turnover forced or a defensive rebound grabbed, Lewisville pushed the ball up the floor at all costs — speeding up the tempo and creating a bevy of transition offense to reignite its play.
Tre’lin Green finished a pair of layups on the fast break, Elijah Walker threw down a dunk in transition and Kylin Green knocked down a pair of free throws to re-establish a double-digit cushion at 40-30 with 2:30 to pay in the third.
“Transition offense, whether it’s against zone or man, it’s all the same. We’re just trying to get to the paint, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that,” Miller said.
Kylin Green, in particular, benefited from that mindset. The Farmers’ leading scorer took up residence at the free throw line following a procession of drives to the basket. He sunk 11 of his game-high 21 points from the charity stripe, all coming over the final three quarters after helping fuel Lewisville’s perimeter behind some timely drive-and-kick passing in the opening stanza.
“[Kylin] had a good night. He knows that he has to get other guys involved and he knows when to take it on himself,” Miller said. “It’s important because he’s our only returner from last year and these guys follow him.”
Adrian Banks added 17 points for the Farmers, while Tre’lin Green also hit double figures with 10 points.
Lewisville led by as many as 13 points against Hebron’s box-and-one zone, which keyed on Kylin Green. The Hawks couldn’t muster enough stops down the stretch despite a strong second half from point guard David Deal, who scored all of his team-high 15 points over the final two quarters.
Alex Cotton chipped in 13 points, including three makes from long range to help the Hawks hang tough in the first half. Grayson Allo added eight points, all in the first half and with a pair of triples as well.
Although the Hawks got their usual balanced scoring output — six players had at least five points on Friday — the zone created some troubles on the glass. Walker and Will Curtis grabbed four offensive rebounds apiece to extend possesions for Lewisville.
Friday’s game marked the first of a pivotal set for the Hawks, who still in the playoff hunt in a contentious race in 6-6A. With just two games left on its district schedule, Hebron travels to Plano East for a 7 p.m. tipoff Tuesday in a meeting between two teams tied for the final postseason spot.
Lewisville, meanwhile, looks to gain some extra separation with a 7:30 p.m. Tuesday road tilt against Plano West.