If nothing else, the Sylvan Hills Bears have a bit of a flare for the dramatic.
“We either blow them out, or we have a nail biter,” said the Bears coach Kevin Davis.
Tuesday was nail biter night at Malvern. The Bears thwarted a series of comebacks to defeat the Leopards 57-54.
“We were up about 12 a couple times,” Davis said, “and they pulled it back to six just before the half and got close again in the fourth quarter.”
Aumonie Armond got a pair of key defensive rebounds late in the fourth quarter to keep the Leopards from snatching a victory from the Bears. He also had 13 points.
The usual Ronnie Hinton led Sylvan Hills with 15 points.
“He’s our leading scorer,” Davis said. “That’s how we think the season will go.”
With what the Bears have in front of them, they will need Hinton’s leadership. The Bears will spend the weekend in Russellville.
First game on Thursday will pit the Beas against the Clarksville Panthers, a team that has been in the 4A mix the three years.
“They’ve been in the finals in two of the last three years,” Davis said. “And they are still a good team.
After the Russellville tournament, the Bears will make up a cancellation of the Watson Chapel game on Dec. 20.
Davis hopes that his team can get a bit of their swagger back in Russellville after a sluggish start on Tuesday.
“I don’t think we knocked the rust off,” Davis said.
The Bears have been out of school since winter weather hit the state. Malvern school had reopened on Monday giving the Leopards one day of practice time, one more than what the Bears have had since the ice hit last week.