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The Ava Lady Bears won games on Monday and Tuesday nights this week to earn a berth in the championship game of the Cabool Lady Bulldogs Tournament Friday night.
Ava, seeded second in the tournament behind Seymour, defeated Salem, 56-26, on Monday night, and in semifinals action Tuesday night defeated Willow Springs, 60-38.
The Ava girls will face top-seed Seymour in a return bout Friday night at 7:30, to determine the tournament championship.
The Lady Bears lost to Seymour in the first game of the season last Thursday, 54-37, at Seymour, and will be looking to turn that around on Friday night.
Senior Jorie Garrett led the Bears with 22 points against Salem and classmate Payton Lakey added 16 as the Ava girls jumped out to a 26-16 halftime lead and never looked back.
Garrett also had 11 rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots and Lakey had eight rebounds and three blocks.
Bethany Horn had seven points, six rebounds and six steals and Emily Sterling had five points.
A fifth senior starter, Abbie Lansdown, had six rebounds and four steals, along with two points. Erica Croney and Danielle Dye also had two points each to round out the scoring.
Ava’s defense held Salem to five points in each of the last three quarters of the game.
Darian Grogan had 16 points for Salem.
Lakey led the Lady Bears with 18 points and seven rebounds Tuesday night against Willow Springs and Garrett added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Horn had 11 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Sterling contributed to the total team effort with nine points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Others scoring for Ava were Bailey Lee, 4, Lansdown 4, and Croney two points and four steals.
Lakey also led Ava with 17 points at Seymour last Thursday night but the rest of the Ava offense struggled.
Ava was down 13-6 after one quarter and trailed 23-14 at halftime.
Jensen Massengale had 14 points for Seymour and Braythan Helms added 13.
Others scoring for Ava were Garrett 8, Lansdown 4, Horn 4, Sterling 3 and Croney 1.
The Lady Bears will travel to Hartville next Monday night, and on Thursday, Dec. 15 will finally make their home debut in a three-game bout with Rogersville, beginning with the freshman game at 5 o’clock.