A couple of missed opportunities is all it takes to lose a close basketball game. That’s what happened to the Sylvan Hills Bears on Tuesday night in a 74-68 loss to the McClellan Lions in their 5A-Central opener on Tuesday.
“We missed some shots down the stretch,” head coach Kevin Davis said. “We also missed three in a row early on from point blank range.”
Davis said a missed shot midway through the fourth quarter was what likely symbolized the outcome of the contest.
“We came down and missed a three,” Davis said, “and they got the rebound, went down on offense and hit the exact same three-point shot.”
The Lions’ shot put them up seven and the Bears under the gun in the final minutes of the ballgame.
But by sheer mathematical analysis, the Bears could have one the game if they had performed better at the charity stripe. They missed 10 from the foul line, something Davis said can’t happen.
“You can’t miss 10 free throws and expect to win a game in our league,” Davis said. “We practice them. We have to get better.”
Sophomore Kordy Winston continues to shine for the Bears. The sophomore point guard led Sylvan Hills with 27 points. He is averaging roughly 25 points per game in his last four games including a 28-point effort against Greene County Tech at the Mountain Home tournament. Davis said Winston is shooting in the 50 percent range that is remarkable for a guard, especially a sophomore guard.
“He scores in so many ways,” Davis said. “In our system he is set up to score driving to the basket and his teammates are setting him up well. He is also shooting the three really well, too.”
Ronnie Hinton had 13 points while David Johnson and Tre West added 10 each.
If there is any facet of the Bears’ game on Tuesday that Davis was concerned with it was transition defense.
“McClellan is so big and long,” Davis said. “When we are transition, we have to get back, and by that I mean all five get back. (Tuesday) we were playing four on five on defense. When I say get back, they all have to get back.”
Friday, the Bears have a chance to get their first win in conference play in their first home conference game against Little Rock Mills.
Davis said the Comets don’t hold any weaker competition than what they saw on Tuesday.
“They will be the same intensity,” Davis said.
The Bears will have to match, or start 0-2 in the young 5A-Central season.