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The Ava Middle School Bears completed play in the annual Willow Springs Tournament last week.
The seventh grade squad defeated Willow Springs 27-14 in the consolation game on Tuesday, January 4.
The Bears held a 5-4 advantage after one quarter of play and led 11-10 at halftime.
Ava made their run in the third quarter when they outscored the host team by a 12-0 margin.
Leading the scoring for Ava were Zach Hunsaker with 10 points and Nate Bray with 8 points. Morgan Smith scored 5 points and Caleb McFarlin chipped in 4 points to round out the scoring for the Bears.
Ava’s eighth grade team was defeated 36-20 by Mountain Grove in the semifinal round of the tournament on Friday, January 7.
Ava trailed 17-13 at halftime; Mountain Grove extended the lead to 25-15 by the end of the third period.
The Bears made a run at the Panthers early in the final period but were unable to overcome the deficit.
Tristan Haltom led Ava’s scoring with 12 points. The Bears received 4 points from Cody Huff, and 2 points each from John Luebbering and Derrick Bushong to complete the scoring.
The eighth grade Bears played Thayer in the third place game on Saturday, January 8, and fell to the Bobcats 31-29.
The momentum swung back and forth throughout the contest.
Thayer led 9-5 after the first quarter but the Bears rallied to take a 16-13 lead to the locker room at halftime. The game was tied at 22 after three quarters of play.
The Bears had a final shot for the tie in the waning seconds but the attempt fell just off the mark.
Haltom led the scoring with 8 points, followed by Huff with 7 points and Bushong with 6 points.
Joe Herrell and Kasey Kutz each hit a 3 point shot for the Bears, and Luebbering scored 2 points to round out the scoring for Ava.
The Springfield Catholic Fighting Irish are scheduled to come to Ava to play the Bears on Thursday, January 13.
The 7th grade game begins at 5:30 p.m. The Bears are scheduled to wrap up the season on Monday, January 17, at Strafford.
Game time at Strafford is also set for 5:30 p.m.