Tuesday, February 12, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Bears show growth with comeback on the road

Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills Bears picked up a pair of conference wins last week. On Friday the Bears handled visiting and winless Little Rock Christian Academy 52-36, but it was Tuesday’s game that showed real growth from the inexperienced squad.

The Bears made the long road trip to Helena to take on the Central Cougars. After trailing by as many as 20 points in the second quarter, the Bears clawed their way back to force overtime, and went on to win 76-71.

“That’s the kind of game that shows that a young and inexperienced team is growing,” Sylvan Hills coach Kevin Davis said. “There have been other games this year when we’ve gotten down like that, and just didn’t show we had what it takes to fight back. Well they fought back in this one, and did it in what’s traditionally a very tough place to play.”

Junior guard Ronnie Hinton is finding his range from outside. He hit five three pointers in Tuesday’s win, including two in the overtime period. He finished with a game-high 20 points.

Armoni Armond added 20 points and 11 rebounds at Helena. The same duo led the Bears in their win on Friday against Little Rock Christian.

Armond finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Hinton drained four more three pointers to finish with 13 points.

“Deion Patton hit for 38 percent on three pointers for us last year, and that’s about the best we’ve ever had,” Davis said of his departed point guard. “Ronnie is hitting at about the same percentage, maybe even up around 40 percent, and he shoots a lot more than Deion did. He’s one of the best shooters I’ve had here.”

Davis is also very pleased with the progress that Armond has made this year, and believes he has even more to look forward to.

“He’s become a double-double guy for us every night,” Davis said. “And I don’t think he’s really tapped his potential yet. He’s got a chance to be a special player.”

The Lady Bears, who are 7-4 in league play, also played two hard-fought games last week. They beat Central 50-45, then lost at home to Little Rock Christian Academy (9-2) 57-46.

Despite the loss, the Lady Bears have a playoff spot locked up. With only three league games remaining, Sylvan Hills is four games ahead of fifth place. They played a big game last night against Pulaski Academy after deadlines. A win would mean a tie for third place in the conference standings with the Lady Bruins, and the seedings would go to the tiebreaker rules.

Look for details of that game in Saturday’s edition of The Leader.