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On Tuesday night, the Bears hosted the Marion C. Early Panthers of Morrisville in non-league play, and suffered a disappointing 52-46 loss.
Ava hosted Houston for Hoopcoming last Friday night and took a 59-43 conference win.
Austin Gastineau exploded for 29 points to lead all scorers. Others scoring for Ava were Brandon Guengerich 12, Ben Loge 10, Dexter Fish 3, Cooper Emerich 2, Garrett Bovard 2 and Chase Gastineau 1.
Devin Coulter had 21 points for Houston.
The Bears and Panthers battled back and forth throughout the game here Tuesday but Morrisville came out on top.
The Bears did a good job containing the Panthers’ taller players inside, but outside shooting and free throws proved to be the difference in the game.
Morrisville connected on 15 of 18 at the line while the Bears converted only 12 of 24.
Gastineau and Loge had 13 points each for the Bears and Emerich added seven points. Phillip Eubanks knocked down two 3-point buckets for the Bears for his six points, and Guengerinch added four points. Fish had two points and Caleb Miles, one.
Freshman starter Brevin Hill had 16 points for Morrisville and Johnnie Pottorff and Josh Devine had 10 points each.
The Bears will travel to Forsyth tonight for a rare Thursday night booking, then will enter play in the Conway Tournament next week.
The Bears are seeded second in the tournament behind Crane, and will face Laquey in first round action at 6:30 Tuesday, Jan., 22.
Semifinals will be played on Thursday night, with the finals on Saturday.
The Conway Tournament will also include a junior varsity schedule in a six-team, pool play round robin.
Ava, in the White Pool, will play Fordland at 5:30 Monday and Buffalo at 5:30 on Thursday.
Teams in the Black Pool include Crane, Warsaw and Conway.
Junior varsity finals will be played on Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m. and concluding with the championship game at 2 o’clock.