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The Ava Bears played host to Rogersville last Friday night and suffered a 63-42 non-conference loss to the Wildcats.
The Bears played with the Wildcats for three quarters, but Rogersville outscored the Bears 21-7 in the final stanza to win the game going away.
Austin Gastineau led the Bears with 19 points and Zach Leonard added 14. Ben Loge scored seven points and Kevin Philpott added two to complete the scoring for Ava.
Ava trailed 42-35 after three periods.
Joe Young had 21 points for the Wildcats and Dylan Cole added 12.
Last week the Herald reported on Ava’s win over Gainesville in the championship game of the Mansfield Tournament, but failed to report on the game that got them there.
The Bears pulled out a big one-point victory, 40-39, over top-seed Norwood on Thursday night, Dec. 8, to earn a berth in the championship game.
Ava’s defense held Norwood to only 39 points, and only three Pirates scored. Riley Jenkins had 22 points for Norwood, Ryan Forrest 9 and Cody Hull 8.
Gastineau led the Bears with 12 points and Chase Dixon had nine. Philpott and Leonard had eight points apiece and Ben Loge added two.
Philpott was 4-for-4 at the line and the Bears converted 7-of-10 from the stripe. Norwood was 11-for-15 at the line.
The Bears and Pirates were tied at 19-apiece at intermission.
On Tuesday night this week, the Bears traveled to West Plains to take on the Zizzers.
West Plains led the Bears 26-23 at halftime and went on to beat the visiting Bears, 55-41.
Coach Nathan Houk said the 15-6 run by the Zizzers in the third quarter made the difference in the game.
The Bears matched West Plains point-for-point in the second and fourth quarters.
Leonard led the Bears with 11 points and Gastineau had 10. Kody Kutz had eight points for Ava, including two big 3-point buckets in the first half.
Others scoring for Ava were Philpott 7, Chase Dixon 2, Caleb Miles 2 and Loge 1.
Next action for the Bears will be Dec. 26 in Springfield’s Blue and Gold Tournament at Missouri State University. The Bears will play Marshfield, the No. 2 seed in the Gold Division, at 6:30 Monday. The Bears and Blue Jays will play in the JQH Arena.