The Ava Bears picked up a much-needed non-conference win over Winona here last Friday night but lost to host Mtn. Grove in first-round play of the Panthers Classic on Tuesday night.
With three players scoring in double figures, led by senior Jessie Slavens’ 16 points, the Bears defeated Winona 65-49.
Juniors Anthony Rosas and Colton Skyles had 15 and 14 points, respectively, for Ava.
Rosas hit 9 of 10 free throws in the game and as a team Ava converted 15 of 21 at the line.
Winona was led by 16 points from senior Tre Thomason.
Others scoring for Ava were John Lazorchak 9, Wyatt Gastineau 6, Caleb Johnson 3 and Zimran Lawrence 2.
Ava held a slim 28-27 lead at halftime, but outscored the Wildcats 37-22 in the second half.
The Bears entered the Mtn. Grove tournament as the No. 7 seed and faced the Panthers in first round action Tuesday night.
Paced by 31 points from D.J. McNew, the Panthers held a 41-22 lead at the half and went on the beat the Bears 72-53.
Slavens led the Bears with 15 points and Rosas and Lazorchak added 12 each, but it was not enough to overcome the scoring of the Panthers.
Skyles added six points for Ava, Johnson had three and Gastineau, two.
Ava will face Willow Springs in consolation action Friday night at 7:30. The Willow Bears lost to No. 3 Bakersfield 69-59 in the 7:30 game Tuesday.
Finals will be played on Saturday, with games at 4:30, 6 and 7:30 p.m.