Friday, December 12, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Sylvan Hills gets sweep of Maumelle

Leader sports editor

Sylvan Hills got a nonconference sweep of Maumelle on Tuesday, with the girls winning 69-50 while the boys earned an eye-opening 73-69 victory over the Hornets. The Maumelle boys entered the game at Sherwood with impressive wins over teams like Wynne, Catholic and Pulaski Academy, but couldn’t get over on a Bears’ team that has begun to establish itself as a team to keep a close eye on.

Sylvan Hills followed Tuesday’s home win with a first-round, 51-44 victory in the Cyclone Invitational against the host team Russellville.

“You play nonconference games you want them as hard as they can be,” said Sylvan Hills coach Kevin Davis. “I think that’s especially true when you have a team as inexperienced as this one is and you play in a conference as tough as ours. We’ve played a pretty good schedule and so far I’ve been pretty pleased with how we’ve performed. We’re still not finishing inside like we should, and I don’t like giving up 70 points, but we’re getting better and I think that’s showing.”

Junior point guard Cordy Winston has emerged as the team’s leading scorer this season, but he’s far from the lone scorer. The Bears had five players in double figures on Tuesday. Winston led the way with 19 while sophomore Jordan Washington scored 14, Dexter Smith added 13, Tre West 12 and Jaylin Johnson 10. The only other Sylvan Hills player to score was Marlon Clemmons with five points.

Sylvan Hills led 17-14 at the end of one, but Maumelle had tied it at 37 by halftime. Sylvan Hills started the third period with a quick run, and Maumelle never led the rest of the game.

The Hornets came into the game having already played eight games and boasting a 6-2 record, with losses coming in close games against Watson Chapel and Bryant. Sylvan Hills had only played twice, beat Vilonia by 10 and losing to Hot Springs by five.

On Thursday, the Bears had to play catch-up after falling behind 15-7 in the first quarter. They made up no ground in the second quarter but lost none either. Then a defensive adjustment at halftime changed the game. Sylvan Hills held the Cyclones to just four points while taking a 37-36 lead into the fourth quarter.

Winston led the way with 15 points while Washington added 13 for the Bears. The Bears finish the Russellville tournament today, then is off until Friday when it travels to Watson Chapel.

In the girls’ game on Tuesday, a close battle through two-and-a-half quarters changed when the Lady Bears went on a run to end the third. Senior point guard Jessica Brasfield began getting into the lane, creating shots for herself and outside shots for Sarah Beckwith and Storm Ellis. And the two shooters made them count.

“We played hard and won another one,” said girls’ coach Shelley Davis. “We’re getting better. First two games were pretty rough but they continue to play hard and we’re 3-3 now. I’m encouraged.”

The Lady Bears got points from all over the floor. Brasfield led the way with 20 points while Beckwith added 18, Ellis 13 and forward Jahnay Duncan scored 11. Several of Duncan’s points came inside and from offensive rebounds.

Davis also bragged on freshman post Alanah Canady.

“She didn’t score much in this game, but she’s had some strong games earlier on,” Shelley Davis said. “Even in this game she did so many good things as far as taking it to the basket. She’s not finishing as well as she could be, but it’s coming.”

The Lady Bears played Episcopal Collegiate Friday after Leader deadlines. Look for details of that game in Wednesday’s edition of The Leader.