Tuesday, December 27, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Sylvan Hills dominates second half at Spa City

Leader sports editor

Superior depth overcame a sluggish start as the Sylvan Hills Bears defeated Jessieville 71-52 in the first round of the Spa City Classic at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs on Tuesday. The game started early and the Lions were hot early as they raced out to a 25-16 lead by the end of the first period. But the Bears clamped down defensively and nearly held Jessieville to less than that total the next three quarters combined.

“We acted like it was 11 in the morning or something,” said Sylvan Hills coach Kevin Davis. “First game after a long break. It was a morning tip-off. Our bus wasn’t on time and we didn’t have much of a warm-up to get our legs going. There were just a lot of reasons why we started so slow. But we played a lot better after that first quarter, and once it started snowballing on them it went fast.”

Jessieville made six 3-pointers in the first half, and many of them were from very long range. Sylvan Hills did a better job of coming off ball screens in the second quarter and forcing drives.

The Bears outscored the Lions 20-13 in the second quarter and pulled to within 38-36 by halftime.

Depth became an issue in the second half. Only six Lions got on the floor the entire game while Davis went 13 deep.

“We had fresh bodies and they didn’t, and that was a factor in the second half,” Davis said. “We also did a better of job of talking on defense and getting out on their shooters. We made some adjustments once we got the lead and that was pretty much the end of it.”

Sylvan Hills (10-0) outscored Jessieville 23-9 in the third quarter for a 59-47 lead. The Bears then opened the fourth quarter in a zone defense that the Lions couldn’t break.

“I kind of felt like they were getting tired so we went to the zone,” Davis said. “Once those legs go the shots usually stop falling as well, and that’s what happened. They started pressing because time was running out on them, and they were forcing some long shots that just weren’t falling for them anymore. They never did really get back in it after that third quarter.”

Senior guard Jacobe Davis led all scorers with 25 points. Senior Jordan Washington added 14 while Demetrius Torrence added 13 for the Bears.

The win puts Sylvan Hills into the tournament semifinals against either Mills University Studies or eStem Charter School. Those two teams met last night after Leader deadlines.

The Lady Bears dropped a 35-31 decision to the Lady Mets of eStem.

The game was tied 23-23 at halftime, but the game took a major defensive turn in the second half. The Lady Bears outscored the Mets 6-4 in the third quarter, but managed just two points in the fourth.

The Lady Bears (6-4) will play Fordyce at 10 a.m. today in the second round of the consolation bracket. Fordyce lost 44-28 to Jessieville on Tuesday.