Saturday, November 24, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Bears run past Hornets in season’s first outing

Leader sports editor

An entirely rebuilt Sylvan Hills basketball team looked like a squad that had been playing together for some time on Tuesday. The new-look Bears routed Maumelle 76-50 in its season opener in Sherwood, drawing praise and maybe even a little bit of shock from head Bear Kevin Davis.

“I am a little surprised,” Davis said. “I did not really know what to expect because when you start almost completely over like this, you just don’t know what it’s going to be like until they take the floor against someone. It’s just one game and we have to know there are going to be rough patches, but overall I am very pleased with what I saw tonight.”

It was a three-pointer onslaught in the first half. Sylvan Hills hit seven total three pointers in the first two quarters. Ronnie Hinton hit two while Nathan Burchett and DeMonte Davidson hit one each in the first quarter. Delsin Parker hit two in the second quarter and became an offensive force that Maumelle had no answer for.

After scoring just four points in the first period, Delsin dropped in 20 more over the second and third quarters to finish with a game-high 24 points. Parker and most of the other starters did not play in the fourth quarter.

“I know he’s very quick and he’s hard to handle defensively, one on one,” Davis said. “In practice, it’s easy to tell he’s a hard guy to keep in front of you. What I was pleased to see was how he was able to finish once he dribbled into traffic and got near the rim. There will be games in this league we’re going into, where that will be a little more difficult. That’s where you hope to see the ability to find an open teammate.”

Sylvan Hills built a 12-point lead in the first quarter and scored the first bucket of the second to go up 26-12. Maumelle then went on an 8-0 run to get back to within 26-20.

That was the Hornets’ last hurrah. The Bears answered with a 10-0 run to make it 36-20 with three minutes left in the first half and Maumelle never got within 14 the rest of the game.

Sylvan Hills lead reached 20 points with 11 seconds left in the third quarter. Parker dribbled to below the right wing and zipped a pass inside to Davidson for an open layup that made it 60-40.

In the fourth quarter, Trajan Doss gave the Bears their biggest lead of the game when his old fashioned three-point play gave the home team a 26-point lead with 3:20 left in the game.

“Another thing I liked is that we did a good job of running the offense and doing what we had planned to do,” Davis said.

Sylvan Hills made 45.8 percent of its shot attempts, making nine of 18 attempts from three-point range. The high shooting percentage, especially from outside, was one thing that did not surprise the Bears’ head coach.

“I have shooting drills that I score them on,” Davis said. “After the first time, I noticed they were even scoring higher than last year’s (state championship) team. So I did it a few more times and they were better than last year’s group every time. So I really feel like we have a pretty good shooting team this year. I was a little surprised the first time I noticed that, but I wasn’t surprised by it tonight. Again, you never know what to expect until they play the game, but I knew they’re capable of shooting the ball very well.”

Even with Parker’s 24, six Bears finished with at least seven points. Burdette scored 12, Hinton 11 and Davidson 10. Doss came off the bench to pitch in eight points while post player David Johnson finished with seven points and nine rebounds.

Kendall Donnerson led Maumelle with 14 points and 10 boards.

Sylvan Hills’ next game will be Tuesday at Beebe.