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The eighth grade Lady Bears played Mountain Grove on Dec. 2 and lost 25-37.
McKenna Hunsaker led the Lady Bears with 12 points, followed by Callie Eubanks with 5, Ashley Helm 3, and Destiny Sparnicht 2.
“Mountain Grove is a very tough team to beat,” said Coach Justin Gilmore. “We are continuing to work on different aspects of our game and trying to make improvements each and every day. “The team’s aggressiveness has improved but our intensity needs to improve.”
Ava eighth grade won against Houston on Dec. 7 by a score of 28-21 and improved their record to 5-5.
Callie Eubanks was the leading scorer with 7 points, followed by Lakota Blakey and Destiny Sparnicht with 6, Ashley Helm 4, McKenna Hunsaker 3, and Tailer Stofer 2.
“Ashley Helm came into the game and gave the team a spark on offense,” Gilmore said. “The girls’ half-court defense looked much better than it did early in the season, but it still needs some work.”
“Our offensive aggressiveness was much better, but our defensive pressure was not very good,” he added. “The girls are doing a lot of great things individually; we just have to find a way to play better as a team.”
The seventh grade team also traveled to Mountain Grove and won 28-9.
The seventh grade improved their record to 8-1.
Jacey Swofford led all scorers with 11 points, followed by Hope Evans with 4, Kendra Walker 3, and Caley Wallace, Keeley Deal, Emily McDevitt, Hunter Shelton and Bailey Loge, each with 2 points.
“We have matured from a bunch of individual players into a team,” Gilmore said. “Our pressure defense has improved drastically over the past 5 games, and the girls’ defensive intensity is being rewarded with wins.”
“Everyone on the team is getting valuable playing time, which is important to the success of the team in the future.”
Ava seventh grade beat Houston at home by a score of 27-24. Houston’s seventh grade was 9-1 before their loss to Ava, and Ava improved their record to 9-1.
Hope Evans led the team in scoring with 8 points, followed by Jacey Swofford with 6, Caley Wallace 5, Hunter Shelton 4, and Bailey Loge 3.
Caley Wallace made two clutch free throws toward the end of the game that helped solidify the win.
“Our half-court defense looked much better with the exception of a few trips down the court,” Gilmore said. “The girls are beginning to understand how to play good man-to-man defense, and their help-defense played a large role in getting the win.”