Playing on an unfamiliar night and not attending classes earlier in the day after a threat at the school was posted on social media, the Sylvan Hills Bears managed to overcome a deficit in the first three minutes, then held on for a 47-42 victory over Little Rock Hall on the Bears' home court Wednesday night.
"Today was not a normal day," Sylvan Hills Coach Kevin Davis said. "You like to have some normalcy when the kids come into the game as much as you can, and when you have days like today, you just hope for the best."
Davis said by 7:30 a.m. that staff members had been notified of the threat, but they didn't find out whether Wednesday's game, already rescheduled because Little Rock schools were closed Tuesday, would be played until they were notified about 2 p.m.
With the victory, the Bears (17-4, 8-1 5A-Central) are still on course for a showdown with first-place Jacksonville next week. Sylvan Hills plays at Maumelle on Friday.
"The conference schedule is real tight through the end of this month, and Hall has already missed one game," Davis said. "You know that people say the biggest game is your next game and I certainly agree with that."
With 5:01 left in the first quarter, Hall (7-9, 3-5) had a 6-2 lead. A three-pointer from Jaaron Harriott, a free throw from Corey Washington and a field goal and free throw from Ja'Core Williams put the Bears in front 9-6 by the end of the quarter.
After opening in a man-to-man defense, Sylvan Hills switched to a zone the rest of the game and was able to open up a 22-14 lead at the half.
"In the first quarter, Hall basically moved to what was a four-corners offense, so once we got the advantage we switched to a zone and were able to do what we wanted to on offense," Davis said.
Hall trimmed the deficit in the third quarter, but the pace of play slowed with 14 fouls being called. The Bears managed to hold a 31-25 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Warriors fought back in the fourth quarter, narrowing the Sylvan Hills lead to three points twice in the quarter, the last time coming with 25 seconds remaining.
Washington had a chance to put the game away with 19.7 remaining but missed two free throws. Hall was unable to convert a shot in the next 15 seconds, but Sylvan Hills' DeShaun Fowlkes was fouled with 4.3 seconds left. He made both free throws, ending any hope for the Warriors.
Nick Smith led the Bears with a game-high 16 points, while Washington added 13.
Dylon Session led the Warriors with 15 points. Carlos Miller had 14 on the strength of four three-pointers.
SYLVAN HILLS 54, LR HALL 33
The Lady Bears (17-5, 8-1 5A-Central) were ahead only 9-6 after one quarter, but scored 45 points over the final three to put away the Lady Warriors (2-18, 1-7).
Sylvan Hills led 21-13 at the half, then increased the advantage to 38-24 after three quarters.
Shayla Golden and Jianna Norris paced the Lady Bears with 13 points each.
Jada Johnson led Hall with 12 points.
Sports on 02/13/2020