WINAMAC | Hebron's Damon Wallace and Cody Artuso combined to out-score the entire Boone Grove roster in the second half of Friday's sectional semifinal.
Their performance, and along with the Hawks' defense led to a 61-40 victory and advanced Hebron to the sectional championship to meet Rochester, which defeated Winamac 50-36 in the other semifinal game.
"Those guys (Damon and Cody) have been our scorers all year, and when they go we go. It's pretty hard to stop them both, and we'll keep it up," Hebron coach John Steinhilber said.
Wallace and Artuso scored 25 of their team's 31 points in the second half, while the stout defense held the Wolves to just 17 points.
Wallace finished with a game-high 25 points and four steals. In the third quarter, he had a string of eight straight points that gave Hebron a 48-34 lead.
"Wallace is their show, and we did an okay job on him in the half court," Boone Grove coach Matt McKay said, "but again he got a lot of those transition points from steals and other things like that."
After the Hawks led 19-10 at the end of the first quarter, Boone Grove started the second quarter on a 12-4 run to cut Hebron's lead to 25-22 after a Daniel Malouhos layup.
The Hawks (22-1) went on a short 5-1 run to end the half, ending on a Wallace layup and foul with two seconds remaining.
"I thought our execution at the end of the half was a let down for us," McKay said. "We had cut it to four (at 27-23), but then we turned it over and Wallace got a three point play. All of a sudden a possible two point lead becomes a seven point lead for them."
Hebron extended its lead to 54-34 thanks to an Artuso layup with 4:54 left in the game. He finished with 19 points and two steals.
Meanwhile, the Hawks kept Boone Grove scoreless for the first half of the fourth quarter. Jake Clapp had 11 points and three steals to lead the Wolves (6-14), while Malouhos added nine.
"We just have to survive to advance," Steinhilber said. "We're there, so we have to be ready to go. This had been our goal, so now we just have to get it done."
Hebron's title-game opponent Rochester (5-16) had three players score in double figures against Winamac, including Zac Schoen who led with 16 points. Bryan McKinney had a game-high 19 points for Winamac (12-7).
"Hebron is very quick, they're physical and pressure the basketball," Rochester coach Jim Metcalfe said. "Their biggest ally is their offense and their pressure, so we're going to have to be able to handle that and take care of the basketball."