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The Ava Middle School Bears opened their 2010-2011 basketball season at home against the West Plains Zizzers on Tuesday, November 16.
The seventh grade Bears were defeated 44-20 by the visiting Zizzers. Ava trailed 10-5 after one quarter of play and trailed 17-13 at halftime.
The visiting West Plains squad extended the lead when the Bears struggled to score in the second half.
Caleb McFarlin led the scoring for Ava with 9 points, followed by Austin Potts with 5 points. Chance Dobbs scored 3 points; Nate Bray added 2 points and Colton Overcast chipped in one point to round out the scoring for Ava.
The Bears won the eighth grade contest 36-27. Ava led most of the game, leading 18-14 at halftime. West Plains did rally in the second half to tie the game before the Bears extended the lead in the fourth quarter.
Leading scorers for the Bears were Tristan Haltom with 14 points and Derrick Bushong with 11 points. The remainder of the scoring for Ava included John Luebbering 4, Colton Akers 3, Fred Haden 2, and Cody Huff 2.
The Bears played host to the Mountain Grove Panthers on Thursday, November 18.
The Panthers defeated Ava 38-27 in the seventh grade game. The Bears trailed 21-12 at halftime but rallied to within 5 points in the fourth quarter before Mountain Grove extended the lead in the final minutes of play.
Leading scorers for Ava were Zach Hunsaker with 9 points and Nate Bray with 8 points. Morgan Smith and Caleb McFarlin scored 4 points each and Chance Dobbs contributed a basket to round out the scoring for the Bears.
The Bears were defeated by a score of 31-26 in the eighth grade contest. Ava led most of the first half but Mountain Grove rallied to tie the game at 13 by halftime.
The Bears held a 24-19 lead to begin the fourth quarter but were unable to hold off the Panthers.
Ava’s scoring consisted of 25 points from Tristan Haltom and one point from Cody Huff.
The Bears will next play at home on Monday, November 29 when they host the Hollister Tigers.
The seventh grade game is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.