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The Ava Bears lost a thrilling, triple overtime game to Warsaw in the Conway Tournament last Saturday night, but in doing so saw senior Austin Gastineau set a new benchmark for Ava basketball.
Gastineau not only scored his 1,000th point in the tournament, but set a new single game scoring mark of 55 points.
Gastineau hit 13-of-15 at the free throw line on Saturday night and sank two 3-point baskets, including a 75-footer to send the game to the third overtime period.
Despite all the heroics, the Bears lost the game, 101-96 to Warsaw, settling for fourth place in the tournament.
In addition to Gastineau’s 55 points on Saturday night, Cooper Emerich had 17 points and Brandon Guengerich scored 15. Others scoring for the Bears were Ben Loge 6, Dexter Fish 2 and Caleb Miles 1.
The Bears were 19-for-27 from the free throw line but the Wildcats sank 37 of 46.
The Bears held a 29-24 lead at halftime and led 47-39 after three quarters of play, but the Wildcats outscored the Bears in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime.
After two overtime periods the game was still tied, but Warsaw finally pulled ahead to win in the third and final extra frame.
In semifinals action on Thursday night the Bears lost a 58-50 decision to Fordland.
Gastineau had 24 points to lead all scorers and Emerich and Loge added 12 apiece for Ava. Miles had two points for the Bears.
J.L. Jones scored 18 for Fordland.
The Bears boosted their SCA record to 2-0 here Tuesday night with a 10-point win over Salem.
The Bears and Tigers were tied at 31 apiece after three quarters of play, but the Bears, which led 24-20 at halftime, pulled ahead in the final period to win, 48-38.
Loge led the Bears in scoring with 18 points, including two baskets from 3-point land. Loge also had five rebounds and three steals for the Bears.
Gastineau had 14 points, eight rebounds and five steals.
Emerich also had two treys and finished with eight points on the night, along with four rebounds and three steals.
Others scoring for Ava were Guengerich 6 and Fish 2.
Chad Elliott had 12 points for Salem and Brady Floyd added 10 for the Tigers.
Guengerich had three rebounds and two steals for Ava.
Tuesday’s game was played in the middle school gym due to a leak in the roof in the high school.
The Bears will be at home Friday night in SCA action with Cabool. That being the final home game of the season for the Bears, it will be Senior Night with senior players and cheerleaders recognized prior to the varsity game.
Gastineau will also be recognized for his scoring exploits on Friday night.
All remaining games for the Bears, prior to the district tournament, will be conference games and all will be played on the road.
Coach Nathan Houk said the district tournament will be seeded on Saturday.