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The Ava Lady Bears got by Norwood, 43-38, in the first round of the Lebanon Central Bank Holiday Tournament Tuesday, but fell to top-seed Springfield Central Wednesday morning, 73-46.
The Lady Bears will play again at 10 a.m. today (Thursday), and with a win today would play for 5th place at 11:30 a.m. Friday.
In opening round action Tuesday morning, the Lady Bears jumped out to a 16-2 lead over Norwood, and maintained the lead going in at halftime leading 25-11.
The Lady Pirates made a run in the third quarter, however, outscoring the Ava girls 17-8 to trim the margin to 33-28 after three periods of play. But Coach Clint Gazette’s ladies played Norwood point-for-point in the final period and held on to win by the same 5-point spread.
Jorie Garrett had 14 of Ava’s 16 points in the first quarter and finished with 22 points on the day. Melissa Coonts added 8 points, Payton Lakey 4, Emily Sterling 4, Kristen Hastings 3, and Abbie Lansdown 2.
Jordan Gray had 14 points for Norwood and Ashlynn Chadwell added 13.
Seeded 8th in the tournament, the first round win pitted the Lady Bears against top-seed Central for the second-round game Wednesday morning, and the Lady Bulldogs were too much for the Ava girls.
Ava, led by Payton Lakey’s 25 points, trailed by only 5 points, 29-25 at halftime, and was still in the hunt after three quarters, trailing 49-35.
But Central, led by 23 points from Montia Johnson and 21 by Capres Marshall, was too big and strong for the Ava girls, Coach Gazette said, and continued to pull away in the final period.
The Ava JV girls are also playing in the junior varsity side of the Lebanon tournament, but we have received no word on the results there.
When regular season play resumes in January, the Lady Bears will host West Plains on Monday night, Jan. 3, and will travel to Forsyth on Friday, Jan. 7.
In the meantime, the Ava 9th grade will host West Plains freshmen on Tuesday, Jan. 4.