Friday, January 06, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> SH Bears trounce PA with three ball

By RAY BENTON Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills boys got its conference season off to a rousingly good start on Tuesday. The Bears dominated Pulaski Academy to the tune of a 78-48 at SHHS in Sherwood.

Mercy rule losses aren’t normal for Pulaski Academy, and the Bruins almost avoided it despite trailing by 32 points as the last shot of the third quarter went up.

It was, however, good from 35 feet, and pulled the PA to within 29, one less than the sportsmanship rule requires for a non-stop clock in the fourth quarter.

The Bruins then opened the final period with a 10-0 run and got to within 61-42 before SH coach Kevin Davis called his only timeout with six minutes remaining.

“I just told them this was unacceptable,’ said Davis. “We had played too well up to that point to start goofing off and let it get away from us. They got the message and they went back out there and took it to them again, started playing like we worked on and doing their jobs.”

Besides that two-minute lapse in focus, the Bears were steady the entire game, and outside shots were falling. Davis’ squad suffered its worst three days of shooting of the season during the Spa City Shootout at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs.

That’s where the Bears (12-1, 1-0) lost their only game of the year so far, and where they shot barely 20 percent from 3-point range.

Back in the cozy confines of their home gym, those shots went down en masse. Seven different Bears combined to make a dozen 3-pointers, and Davis says it wasn’t just because of the familiar surroundings.

“We’re most effective when we spread it around and keep the ball moving,” Davis said. “We did a great job of that in this one. We’re less effective when we want to stand there and hold the ball, or try to drive when the drive is not really there. You look at our roster, and 11 of the 12 guys you see there can all shoot the 3 ball. Even our two starting post players can hit from out there. It makes it awfully hard to defend when you have so many that can shoot and you’re executing the way you’re supposed to.”

Sylvan Hills made four treys in the first quarter, two in the second and three in each of the third and fourth periods. Sylvan Hills only led 19-14 after one quarter and 35-22 at halftime. A 26-10 third all but put the game away. Sylvan Hills led 61-29 until Isaiah Woods made that 35-footer at the buzzer.

Daylon Raynor and J.D. Smith made three 3-pointers apiece for the Bears and Justin Glasco made two. Jacobé Davis, Demetrius Torrence, Alex Curry and Herman Washington all made one.

“I’m not surprised when I see seven different guys hitting from out there, because I see how they shoot it every day in practice,” Kevin Davis said. “But we have to share and keep it moving, and take quality shots. We have times when we don’t take quality shots and don’t shoot within the rhythm of our offense. That just makes it easier on our opponent. We didn’t give PA too much of that and that’s why we had the result we did. Life is good when the shots are falling.”

Tra Johnson led the Bruins with 12 points while Connor Parr scored 10. However, Johnson had just one 3-pointer the entire second half while Parr was held scoreless.

All 12 Sylvan Hills players scored, and four were in double figures. Curry led the way with 13 points. Jacobé Davis added 12 while Smith and Jordan Washington scored 11 apiece.

Sylvan Hills made 8 of 13 free throws while PA made 7 of 8 attempts.

Lady Bears can’t stop streak

The Lady Bears dropped to 8-5 and 0-1 in the 5A/6A-Central with a 54-41 loss to the 11-1 Lady Bruins. PA has not lost since a 53-49 overtime defeat to CAC in the first game of the year on Nov. 18. PA led 13-8 after the first quarter, but Sylvan Hills held the Bruins to just five points, all by Mattie Hatcher, in the second quarter and closed to within 18-16 by halftime.

PA then outscored Sylvan Hills 21-8 in the third to take control of the game. Hatcher got to the line four times and made 6 of 6 free throws in that period. She led all scorers with 22 points while Morgan Wallace added 12 for the Lady Bruins.

Alana Canady led Sylvan Hills with 14 points while Jayla Bell scored 10.

Sylvan Hills made 8 of 12 free-throw attempts while Pulaski Academy went 16 for 25 from the foul line.

Sylvan Hills games scheduled for last night at J.A. Fair were canceled due to Friday morning’s snow. The Bears and Lady Bears are scheduled to host Maumelle on Tuesday.