Tuesday, January 05, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> SH coaches not pleased with break

Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills boys’ and girls’ basketball teams took part in the Spa City Classic hosted by Hot Springs Lakeside at Summit Arena last week. The Lady Bears went 2-1 with wins over Lakeside and Jessieville and a loss to conference rival Pulaski Academy.

The boys also beat Lakeside, but lost their last two games to PA and Little Rock Christian Academy.

Lady Bears coach Shelley Davis has a young team and expects growing pains, but was disappointed in the nature of her team’s 56-39 loss to the Lady Bruins.

“They just cowed down,” said Davis on Monday. “Complaining, making excuses. It just surprised me. We’ve lost a few, but we went down fighting in those other ones. We didn’t this time. We’ve got to be tougher than that and we get a chance to be tougher right here to start (conference play).”

Sylvan Hills opened league play in the 5A-Central against the Lady Bruins on Tuesday.

The first and fourth quarters against PA were played evenly, but the Lady Bruins outscored Sylvan Hills by 17 in the second and third periods.

Pulaski Academy post player Morgan Wallace led all players with 28 points while Katie Swanson added 11 and Mattie Hatcher 10 for the Lady Bruins.

Da’Bria Thompson led Sylvan Hills with 16 points while Raigen Thomas scored 14 in the second-round game.

The Lady Bears opened the tournament with a 57-26 blowout of the host team. A 23-4 second quarter was the difference in that game.

“One of their best players is a big tennis player and she was at a tennis thing somewhere,” Davis said of Lakeside. “I still think we would’ve beat them, but they struggled without her.”

Sophomore Alana Canady led Sylvan Hills with 16 points against Lakeside while Thompson added 15.

In the third-place game, the Lady Bears trailed Jessieville the entire game before a last-second shot by Canady gave Sylvan Hills its first lead and the win, 40-38. Canady led Sylvan Hills with 10 points while Jessieville’s Kellie Lampo scored 27 of her team’s 38 points.


The Sylvan Hills boys showed the bad side of its inconsistency so far this season at Hot Springs. Even in the win, boys’ coach Kevin Davis wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance.

“We didn’t show up for the PA game, and even in the win, you left there knowing we just didn’t play that well,” said Kevin Davis.

The Bears beat the Rams 59-37 before losing 71-53 to PA and 67-57 to LRCA. Tulsa signee Lawson Korita went off for 28 points for the Bruins, and hit five of the team’s 10 3-pointers.

“We’re a team that wants to pride itself on not giving up the three ball,” Davis said. “But we weren’t getting out defending and they were getting open shots. And of course we weren’t hitting anything, which made things worse.”

In the last game, the Bears led 17-14 after one quarter and only trailed 28-26 at halftime, but an 18-8 Warrior advantage in the third quarter was the difference.

“They’re a very much-improved team,” Davis said of LRCA. “They’ve got a big 6-foot-9 kid (Isiah Harper) and ole Fitz Hill’s son (Justice Hill) is running point for them and he makes them go. But they did not get our best game. We’ve got to be more consistent with our effort, and we have to make free throws. Missed free throws drive a coach crazy and we missed a bunch of them in that tournament.

“That’s particularly devastating to us because we have so many players who can get to the line. But when you get to the line and miss, that’s nothing more than a turnover.”

In the three games combined, Sylvan Hills went 31 of 60 from the free-throw line, with 13 of 23 against LRCA the best showing.

Look for details of Tuesday’s boys’ and girls’ conference doubleheader against PA in Saturday’s Leader.