Tuesday, January 24, 2012

SPORTS >> Bears win wild one at the Galaxy

Leader sports editor

Those expecting high drama got what they came for when Sylvan Hills battled Mills on Friday in the Galaxy Gymnasium in Little Rock. The two teams sitting undefeated atop the 5A Southeast standings provided excitement, some good, some not. When the dust cleared, the Bears remained unbeaten in league play with a 59-53 win over the Comets.

Sylvan Hills spent the third quarter taking control of the game and extending a small halftime lead, but Mills cut the lead to just two at 51-49 with 1:28 remaining.

Sylvan Hills shot about 50 percent from the free-throw line for most of the game, but hit 11 of 14 in the final three minutes, including its final eight in a row down the stretch to seal the victory.

Goodwin hit two with 1:03 left to make it 53-49. Mills’ Braylon Spicer missed a three. Goodwin got the rebound and was fouled again. Again he hit both shots to make it a six-point margin with 47 seconds remaining.

Mills didn’t quit. Spicer was fouled while shooting and hit both free throws with 40 seconds left. Comet senior Shyheim Barron then got a steal, dished to Spicer who missed a three-pointer, but Shaquan Fletcher got the offensive rebound and putback to make it 55-53 with 21 seconds remaining.

Mills fouled Larry Ziegler with 17 seconds remaining and Ziegler nailed both shots. Trailing by four, Barron got the ball on the left wing and traveled. Junior Daylon Jones, who provided a lift off the bench for Sylvan Hills with11 points, seven in the second half, made two more free throws with three seconds remaining to set the final margin.

Sylvan Hills was in the bonus three minutes into the game. Mills had eight fouls at the 5:00 minute mark and the Bears shot 11 free throws in the first quarter. The Bears made only six of them and weren’t able to get the lead until late in the frame.

Sylvan Hills senior and University of Kentucky bound guard Archie Goodwin hit two long three pointers.

The second one, from beyond 30 feet, gave the Bears their first lead at 14-12 with 1:03 left in the opening period. Sylvan Hills added two free throws and took a 16-12 lead into the second quarter.

After a break in the action following Goodwin’s second three-pointer, he caused the first of two disturbances in the stands by taunting the Mills student section with shouts and gesticulations.

Goodwin’s father was escorted out of the gym for coming out of the stands and onto the court, although it appeared he was only trying to calm Goodwin down. The incident started with two other players underneath the Mills basket jawing at each other. Goodwin reacted first to the on-floor spat, then directly to the Mills student section, intensifying the longer he went unchecked by coaches and officials.

After a lengthy delay and long discussion among officials, no personal or technical fouls were called on anyone and play resumed.

Goodwin hit another 30-foot three pointer in the second quarter and was hit with a technical for taunting when he ran back down the court with his mouth directly in his defenders ear.

Players were more composed in the second half and Sylvan Hills controlled much of the action. Another incident in the stands unrelated to the game caused another stoppage of play, but the delay was brief and cooler heads prevailed the rest of the way.

The Bears took a 27-22 lead into halftime and steadily grew the lead in the third quarter.

The Bears dominated the glass and got several second-chance points, especially in the third quarter. Sylvan Hills scored seven straight to start the third, four by Goodwin and three by Devin Pearson, five of which came after offensive rebounds.

For the game, Sylvan Hills won the rebounding battle 37-21. Pearson led all players with 14 boards.

Goodwin led all scorers with 27 points and added eight rebounds. He hit 10 of 11 free-throw attempts and was three of six from three-point range.

Barron led the Comets (14-3, 4-1) with 13 points. Spicer added 12 and Flecther 10.

The Bears (15-5, 5-0) traveled to Watson Chapel on Tuesday, and go to Crossett on Friday.