Tuesday, January 03, 2012

SPORTS >> Bears lose first game, close well in tourney

Leader sports editor

Sylvan Hills boys’ team went 2-1 at the Poplar Bluff Showdown, which featured eight teams from four states, last week.

The Bears had a rough start on Wednesday, losing 65-60 to Tupelo, Miss., after leading by one point with a minute remaining in the game.

Tupelo was forced to begin fouling, and the Bears missed free throws. Sylvan Hills missed four free throws in the final minute to allow the Golden Wave to come back for the win. In all, the Bears missed 16free throws, hitting just 15 of 31 attempts in the game.

“You’re not going to win against any good teams shooting free throws like that,” Bears coach Kevin Davis said.

Sylvan Hills bounced back in the first round of the consolation bracket, crushing Memphis-Hillcrest 67-45 and earning a slot in the fifth-place game against fellow Arkansas 5A power Forrest City.

The Bears pulled that one out 69-57 in a game that could likely have been a preview of a postseason matchup.

The Mustangs are one of the favorites, along with Beebe, who played a close game with the Bears last month, to win the 5A East

Archie Goodwin led the Bears in scoring in both games. He had 24 against Tupelo and 18 against Hillcrest.

Forrest City lost to Memphis-Washington then beat host Poplar Bluff to advance to the consolation final.

Tupelo beat Memphis-Kirby in the third place game after losing to Maplewood-Richmond Heights, Mo., in the semifinals.

Memphis-Washington beat Maplewood-RH in the tournament final.

The Bears (8-3) return to action on Thursday, hosting Monticello in a 5A Southeast conference game. It will be the conference opener for the Billies while Sylvan Hills has one league game under its belt, a blowout win at home over White Hall.

The next day, the Bears leave for Lexington, Ky., to face Lexington Catholic in front of Goodwin’s future college hometown crowd. Goodwin signed with the Kentucky Wildcats in the early signing period.

The Bears then play one more league game before heading out of state again for the Bass Pro Shop tournament in Springfield. Mo.