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The Ava High School junior-varsity Lady Bears traveled to Lebanon last week for the Lebanon Holiday Tournament and walked away with a consolation trophy.
The Lady Bears found themselves in a pool with Rogersville, Lebanon, and Conway.
The Lady Bears met the Lady Wildcats of Rogersville in the first round of play.
The Lady Bears had faced Rogersville two weeks ago and fell to the Lady Wildcats 58-27.
However, the Lady Bears came out with a little more intensity and at the end of three quarters of play were tied at 31-31.
Fatigue set in and the Lady Bears could not hold on in the 4th quarter falling to the Lady Wildcats again 44-33.
Erica Croney led all scorers with 10, Hannah Johnson added 9, Shelby Campbell and Bailey Lee added 5 each, and Abby Sparnicht and Cori Dry also added 2 points each.
In round two the Lady Bears faced off against the Lady Yellowjackets of Lebanon and never found their rhythm. The Lady Bears trailed by four at halftime and came out in the third quarter to cut it to a one-point game.
At the end of the third quarter, sophomore Abby Sparnicht had to leave the game with a knee injury. Her presence was missed in the fourth quarter, and the Lady
Bears were outscored 15-6 with a final score of 44-35.
Johnson led all scorers with 12, Sparnicht added 9, Dry 6, and Lee and McKenzy Mitchell 4 points each.
In the consolation game, the Lady Bears faced the Lady Bears of Conway. The Lady Bears got off to a slow start trailing by as many as 15 in the first half and 11 at half time.
However, the Lady Bears made a decision to step it up a notch and play with a little more desire. The Lady Bears outscored the Conway Lady Bears 18-14 in the third quarter to cut it to a 7 point game, and then outscored them again in the fourth 14-7 to send the game into overtime.
In the four minute overtime, sophomore Hannah Johnson stepped up and scored 6 points alone to help the Lady Bears defeat the Conway Lady Bears 61-57.
Johnson led all scorers with 21.
The Lady Bears had three other players in double digits including Dry 15, Lee 12, and Croney 10.
Rachel Swofford also added a bucket for the Lady Bears, and Campbell hit a free throw for 1.
“Friday’s effort in the second half was by far the best effort I have seen from the girls as a team and hope it can continue throughout the season,” said Coach Brandy Harvill. “Coming back from a 15 point deficit at one point says a lot about a team.”
Unfortunately, the j.v. Lady Bears could not keep up with the outstanding shooting from the West Plains Lady Zizzers on Monday night, falling to the Zizzers 56-23.
The Lady Zizzers were 4 for 5 from the 3 point line and consistently hit shots.
The Lady Bears had a hard time getting any good looks at the basket with only a free throw at the end of the first quarter. The Lady Bears did have a better second quarter scoring 13 points and trailing by 19 at half time.
Scoring for Ava included Lee with 11, Campbell 5, Johnson 4, Dry, 2, and Morgan Emerich 1.
The freshmen Lady Bears met West Plains for the second time on Tuesday night.
Ava jumped out to an early lead and ended the half up 11 – 6.
West Plains came out with a bit more intensity and jumped to a 7 point lead to end the 3rd quarter.
However, the Lady Bears of Ava were not ready to quit.
The Lady Bears cut it to a 6 point difference with 2:36 remaining.
Then West Plains and Ava both scored a bucket again, and with only 15.3 seconds left and down 6, Ava’s Bailey Lee took the three, missed, Ava rebounded, and Lee hit her second attempt to put the Lady Bears down 3 with 6.8 seconds left.
The Lady Bears took a time out and quickly put together a pressing plan for one final attempt.
Erica Croney guarded the inbounds and was able to get a touch forcing the ball back to the West Plains player who touched the ball out of bounds, and Ava would get the ball back with 3.3 seconds left.
Another time out was called to set the play for one final three attempt. The Lady Bears set their play hoping the coverage was focused on Lee to set up a diversion, and Rachel Swofford hit Shelby Campbell on the wing to hit the 3 to send us into overtime.
Unfortunately, the freshmen five could not hold on in overtime, fouling out two players, leaving us three on five for the remaining seconds of the game.
The Lady Zizzers outscored the Lady Bears in overtime 5-2 to finish the game with a 31-28 victory.
Lee led the Lady Bears’ scoring attack with 15 points. Campbell contributed 13 points.
The j.v. Lady Bears will travel to Forsyth Friday night to take on the Lady Panthers.