Friday, December 10, 2010

SPORTS>>Bears not down very long

By Jason king
Leader sportswriter

CONWAY — Sylvan Hills did not show any ill effects from its first loss.

Jacksonville beat the Bears in the opening round of the John Stanton Wampus Cat Invitational on Monday, but Sylvan Hills bounced back Thursday with a 71-52 victory over Vilonia in the consolation bracket.

The Bears (5-1) got an early lift from junior guard Dion Patton while classmate Archie Goodwin handled the rest with a game-high 30 points. 

“We went deeper into our bench than we have been,” Bears coach Kevin Davis said. “We did not play very well the other night against Jacksonville. We didn’t bring the intensity, so we had some hard practices this week and really tried to focus on some things.

“So, I was a little concerned about our legs. I knew Vilonia would play us hard. But I was able to fully use the bench, and I thought Anthony Featherstone gave us key minutes in the paint.”

Featherstone and Pearson combined for four points, but their control of the lane forced the Eagles to rely on mostly outside shooting, which met with mixed results.

Vilonia cut Sylvan Hills’ lead to 57-47 midway through the fourth quarter, but the Bears responded as they had all night, with teamwork.

“That’s what those two practices will get you,” Davis said. “Tuesday’s practice was a three-hour — it was grueling. And that’s what that was about, not being selfish and being more team oriented. It’s a team sport, and the more you’re unselfish, the better off you’re going to be.”

Goodwin and Patton set the tone with three pointers and Patton tacked on two free throws with 5:35 left in the first quarter to put the Bears up 8-2. The Eagles stayed within six until Goodwin went on a tear early in the second period.

With University of Arkansas coach John Pelphrey in the stands, Goodwin, one of the state’s top college prospects, dunked to open the quarter and made a layup on another breakaway. He then made two three-pointers, the second of which put the Bears up 35-18 with 1:23 left in the half.
Goodwin scored 20 first-half points.

Vilonia junior guard Trevor Martin scored four first-half points but erupted with three baskets in the third quarter and hit two more in the opening minutes of the fourth to make it 57-47 with 5:25 left. 

With Goodwin in more of a prevent-type mode, junior forward Larry Ziegler took the reins and scored eight of his nine points in the last eight minutes. Goodwin added an exclamation point to his performance with a behind-the-back dunk in the final minute.

Patton added 14 points for Sylvan Hills while Trey Smith and Jacob Gates each had seven.
Martin led Vilonia with 18 points and Cody Brewer had 10.

With all the talent on Davis’ team, he has to occasionally remind people that with the exception of seniors Deveyaun Blair, Bruce Mack and Fred Washington, the squad is junior laden.

“They depended on the seniors so much last year,” Davis said. “They relied on them so much, so they are still young. Even though they have a year under their belt, they’re still young guys. And I think that’s where we’re still struggling a little bit is to totally trust the system and be where you’re supposed to be and do what you’re supposed to be doing, and not rely so much on your individual skill.”

Sylvan Hills will play Guy-Perkins in the fifth-place game today at 2:30 p.m.