With the losses the Bears slipped from a 2-0 conference record to 2-2, and dropped to 12-9 overall. The Bears have three games remaining in the regular season – all three conference games and all three on the road – before district play begins on Feb. 19.
Ava and Cabool hooked up in a thrilling contest here last Friday night that remained close throughout. Ava held a 26-25 advantage at halftime and the score was tied at 40-all after three quarters. The Bulldogs outscored Ava by three in the final period, which was the final margin, 65-62.
Senior Austin Gastineau led all scorers with 37 points for the Bears and was the only Ava player in double figures. Others scoring for Ava were Brandon Guengerich 9, Ben Loge 8, Cooper Emerich 4, Phillip Eubanks 2 and Dexter Fish 2.
Taylor Bay had 17 for Cabool, which had four players in double figures.
Before the start of Friday night’s game, senior players Gastineau, Fish, Eubanks, Caleb Miles and Garrett Bovard were recognized. Gastineau was also recognized for his 55-point total against Warsaw in the Conway Tournament, and for reaching the 1,000 points career mark.
The Bears traveled to Mtn. View-Liberty on Tuesday night and suffered an 87-60 SCA loss to the Eagles.
The Bears led 21-10 after on quarter, and the same numbers were reversed in the second quarter to create a tie game at the half, 31-31.
Liberty pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Bears 54-31 in the final two quarters.
Jaelon Acklin connected on five 3-point shots in the game and finished with 23 points for Liberty.
Gastineau again led the Bears with 19 points. Emerich added 16 and Guengerich had 10. Others scoring for Ava were Loge 6, Fish 6, Seth Dobbs 2 and Bovard 2.
The Bears were 10-for-13 at the line and Mtn. View-Liberty was perfect at 8-for-8.
The Bears will go to Mtn. Grove Friday night, then next week will play at Willow Springs on Tuesday and Thayer on Thursday to complete the regular schedule before starting districts at Hollister the following week.