One thing Sylvan Hills and Beebe proved on Tuesday night was that comparing scores in high school basketball gets you nowhere. Both teams opened their seasons against Vilonia. Beebe beat the Eagles at home while Sylvan Hills lost to them on the road, but that meant nothing on Tuesday.
The Bears hounded and hassled the Badgers into a terrible shooting performance, while executing their own offense with precision. The result was a 70-36 mercy-rule whipping of the Badgers in Sherwood.
“I was not a happy coach this week in practice,” said Sylvan Hills coach Kevin Davis. “We just went out there at Vilonia and played comfortable and never really showed any intensity. This game and that game were light and dark. I was very pleased with our defensive intensity, very pleased with our execution. We attacked the boards well. Just a much better effort. Still got a long ways to go though.”
The game began with the two teams trading baskets and defensive stops. Much like the last two meetings between the future conference mates, the first quarter looked like the beginning of a game that would go down to the wire.
The Badgers actually led 15-13 at the end of the first period, but senior point guard Tanner Chapman picked up his third foul with 2.2 seconds left in the quarter. His absence in the second quarter was highlighted by Sylvan Hills’ decision to put pressure on the basketball for the length of the court, and often times trapping out of the half-court set.
Davis said the defensive switch wasn’t because of the point guard’s foul trouble.
“No, that was something we were going to do regardless,” Davis said. “It probably took a little more of a toll on them not having (Chapman) in there. But I think we continued to pull away from them even after he came back in the game.”
With guard play compromised, Beebe tried to attack the inside with center Zach Baker, and the 6-foot-5 senior was effective. What wasn’t effective was Beebe’s outside shooting. Tyler Childress made the team’s first attempt from three-point range of the night, and the Badgers missed all the rest of their 14 subsequent attempts.
The Bears shot well from everywhere. They were 5 of 12 from three-point range, and got several layups off penetrations, transition and offensive rebounds.
Sylvan Hills outrebounded Beebe 35-20. Only four Badgers got a rebound, with Baker’s 10 and Reggie Blackmon’s six accounting for 80 percent of them.
Davis started the game with both of his point guards on the floor, and the combination was more than Beebe could handle. Sophomores Cordy Winston and Sam Williams scored 17 and 16 points respectively.
Winston got 12 of his in the third quarter, including three-consecutive three pointers, while Williams did most of his damage by driving by defenders and getting open shots from close range.
“That’s why I put him in there and moved him over to the two,” Davis said of Williams. “He’s grown a lot. He’s playing much tougher than he used to. We knew he had the ability, and we’ve been waiting to see things start to come together. He could be a real threat for us.”
The Bears also got 15 points and seven rebounds from forward Aumonie Armond, who also scored in a variety of ways, but mostly off dishes by penetrating guards. He even got a pair of buckets off good interior passing by senior post player David Johnson.
Johnson scored four points and led the Bears with 10 rebounds.
Beebe’s Baker led all scorers with 19 points and added 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double.
Beebe was 32 percent from the field on 15 of 47 shooting, and was 5 of 13 from the foul line.
Sylvan Hills shot 47 percent on 26 of 55 shooting from the floor, and made 11 of 16 free throws.
The Bears will play at Malvern on Tuesday while the Badgers will take part in the Modern Woodmen Classic in Morrilton that begins on Monday.