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The Ava Lady Bears hit enough free throws to offset the handy outside shooting of the Salem Lady Tigers here Monday night to give the Ava girls their first SCA win.
It was the first conference game for the Lady Bears, which won the contest 59-54.
Salem knocked down seven 3-point baskets Monday night.
Coach Clint Gazette said the girls who were hot Monday night are normally not big scorers for Salem.
The Tigers had two players injured, and those girls stepped up and helped the team, he said.
The Lady Bears welcomed transfer student Maison Bovard, 5’8″ junior forward, into the lineup.
Despite early foul trouble, Bovard, who moved here with her family from Colorado, scored six points off the bench for the Ava girls and gave Coach Gazette some good minutes on the court.
Senior Hannah Johnson led the Lady Bears with 21 points and junior Erica Croney took an aggressive role, scoring 14 points for the victors. Junior point guard Bailey Lee stepped up with a couple of big treys and also scored in double figures with 11 points on the night.
Rounding out the scoring for Ava were Shelby Campbell 3, Callie Eubanks 2 and Jacey Swofford 2.
Sophomore Savannah Hanning and junior Kristin Hemken had 13 points each for Salem and senior Emily Moser added 12 points for the Lady Tigers.
Ava held a 15-14 lead after one quarter and tied the game at 27-all at the half on two free throws by Johnson. Ava held a two-point advantage, 38-36, after three quarters.
The Lady Bears will host Cabool tonight (Thursday) in SCA play, and will travel to Lebanon in non-conference action Monday night.
Games at Lebanon will begin at 5 p.m. with a freshman contest.
The Lady Bears are 4-7 overall after winning three games in a row.
Ava defeated Salem, 42-40, early in the season in the Cabool Tournament.