Monday, December 10, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Hillside defeats Malvern at home

Leader Sportswriter

Sometimes it’s good to have a shooter who possesses that killer instinct. That’s what Sylvan Hills coach Kevin Davis appears to have in junior guard Ronnie Hinton, who hit a number of big-time shots in the Bears’ 77-55 victory over Malvern at the Sylvan Hills gymnasium on Tuesday.

Hinton and senior post player DeMonte Davidson shared leading-scorer honors with 18 points each.

Davidson did his work inside, while Hinton knocked down most of his shots from the outside, including three, three-point baskets. Junior point guard Delsin Parker was close behind with 17 points, with three threes of his own.

Sylvan Hills (2-1) outpaced the Leopards in a furious opening quarter, rushing out to a 26-15 lead through the first eight minutes, and maintained that margin through the second quarter to lead 40-28 at the break. Malvern was not able to bring the score within single digits again as the Bears controlled the tempo in the second half as well.

“This team has the potential to put the ball in the basket from the perimeter,” Sylvan Hills coach Kevin Davis said. “I think we can do a little bit better job of taking quality shots at times. I thought at times, we got a little happy out there. We hit some shots, but we got to where we were thinking we can’t miss. You don’t make a team play defense when you do that. That’s a learning curve for a young team to get better at.”

The Leopards went zone against the Bears in the first half, which led to some key transition-scoring opportunities for the hosts. Hinton and Davidson both cashed in during the opening period before the outside game started opening up in the second quarter.

“I thought we got some transition buckets,” Davis said. “And that’s the thing when any team is playing zone, you have to be careful about giving up transition buckets. I thought that was really the key that kind of broke it open. I really didn’t see us get into our zone offense, because we were doing so good in primary and secondary break situations.”

Hinton broke a 12-12 tie with a three-point basket at the 3:25 mark of the first quarter, and struck again from the outside with 1:32 left to play in the first to give the Bears a 22-15 lead. He also had a number of shots just inside the arc, as well as another trey midway through the fourth quarter.

“Ronnie’s a captain on this team,” Davis said. “He’s a leader. He was on this team last year, so he’s got a ring, been to the playoffs, and consider him a playoff player. I want Ronnie playing free. I don’t want him to have to over analyze his shooting. He can take it to the basket, and he’s got a quick release, but shoots it well from the perimeter too. I thought he did a nice job leading us.”

Davidson went to the locker room at halftime with six points before he got hot in the third quarter, including a three-point basket at the 5:47 mark of the third to put Sylvan Hills up 47-32. He also went 6 of 8 at the free-throw line during the second half.


As Naomi Gregory went, so did Sylvan Hills as the Lady Bears fell to visiting Malvern 59-44 at the SHHS gymnasium on Tuesday.

Gregory got a hot hand to start the third quarter, which allowed the Lady Bears to cut a 10-point halftime deficit down to five. But when the magic ran out for Gregory late in the frame, the Lady Leopards were able to stretch it back out and control things the rest of the way.

“I’m in a situation where I’ve got five kids on that bench, where if they could handle the ball better, they would probably play more,” Lady Bears coach Shelley Davis said. “I’ve got to have somebody else who can step up and do something. You take away Naomi and Byrd and Val Jarrett, and we’re basically 80 percent sophomores.”

Byrd got going in the first quarter with a basket assisted by Calyn Fulton at the 6:52 mark and a pair of scores in the lane midway through, the second of which tied the game at 9-9 with 2:52 left to play in the first.

“The first half, they were playing us man, and I thought we were executing well off that,” Davis said. “When you go to a zone, I feel like a lot of times, you’re going to have to get in there and grind with it. We stayed in zone all night just because of their leaping ability. We just couldn’t stop them off the boards.”

For Malvern, Alvia Hall led the way with 13 points while Akasha Westbrook and post player Shakara Penix each had 12 points.