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The Ava Bears defeated Stoutland in the semifinals of the Conway Tournament last Thursday night but lost to Conway in the championship game on Saturday night.
Tuesday night the Bears traveled to Cabool for a South Central Association contest and came away with a 56-43 win over the Bulldogs.
Ava had a strong offensive performance against Stoutland on Thursday, with four players scoring in double figures, as the Bears won the game 54-45.
Zach Leonard led the scoring with 19 points and was followed by Austin Gastineau 11, and Chase Dixon and Ben Loge with 10 each. Kevin Philpott had four points to complete the Ava scoring.
Jake Stephens had 23 points for the Tigers.
The Bears led Stoutland 29-17 at the half.
Ava got off to a slow start Saturday night against the host Conway Bears, and trailed 9-0 before getting on the board in the first quarter. Ava trailed Conway 23-12 at halftime.
A strong third quarter by Ava allowed the visiting Bears to pull within three points of the leaders, 28-25, in the third quarter. Ava continued to attack Conway in the fourth quarter, and with 25 seconds left in the game, the score was tied at 40-all.
Ava’s Austin Gastineau was whistled for a couple of offensive fouls late in the game on baskets that would have changed the scope of the game. Instead, the Ava Bears had to foul and Conway made enough free throws to win the game and the tournament title, 45-40.
Gastineau finished with 12 points, and was one of three Ava players scoring in double digits.
Leonard led the team with 14 points and Philpott added 11. Kody Kutz had two points and Chase Dixon had a free throw.
Tyler Yelvington had 14 points to lead Conway.
At Cabool on Tuesday night, the Ava Bears took a 23-16 lead to the locker room at halftime and went on to win the SCA contest 56-43.
Leonard led the Bears with 22 points and Gastineau added 16. Others scoring for Ava were Dixon 7, Loge 5, Kutz 4, and Dexter Fish 2 points.
Austin Baker and Taylor Bay had 12 points each for Cabool.
Ava is 9-9 overall and 2-0 in conference play.
The Bears will host Mtn. View-Liberty on Friday night in a game that will also be Hoopcoming at Ava High School. The coronation will be held immediately following the junior varsity game.
On Tuesday night the Bears will be at home against Mtn. Grove in another SCA bout. That game is the second round of the Route 60 Showdown with special activities sponsored by Town & Country Bank.
Fans attending the game will be asked to put money in jars for each team in the lobby, and the winning team will claim all the money for their school library.
There will also be a basket shooting contest between employees of Town & Country Banks at Mtn. Grove and Ava, and the winning team will claim the Route 60 plaque for the coming year.