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Bears Win Close Games Over Salem, Reeds Spring

The Ava Bears traveled to Salem last Friday night and pulled out a conference win with two seconds left on the clock. Then Tuesday night the Bears went to Reeds Spring and won in double overtime.

On Friday, Jan. 13, the Bears were at Salem for their first conference game of the season.

Ava came out firing and took a 14-8 lead, only to see the home team Tigers rally to hold a five point lead going into the fourth quarter.

Salem got up by seven points, but back-to-back 3-point buckets by Kody Kutz got the Bears back within one.

Salem hit a 3-point shot and Ava’s Zach Leonard answered with a trey to return the Bears to a one-point deficit.

Chase Dixon got a big steal and Ava had the ball with less than 30 seconds on the clock.

Coach Nathan Houk called a time out with 10 seconds left. Austin Gastineau fought his way to the basket, put up a shot that missed, got his own rebound and put it back in to give Ava a one-point margin of victory, 45-44.

Kevin Philpott and Ben Loge led the Bears in scoring with 10 points each. Philpott had five rebounds and Loge pulled down four boards for Ava. Zach Leonard had eight points and nine rebounds and Gastineau finished with seven points and five assists.

Kutz had six points and three rebounds and Dixon had four points and three steals for Ava.

The Bears pulled off a huge win at Reeds Spring Tuesday night in the second overtime period, 48-41.

With 4.9 seconds left in regulation, Gastineau made two free throws to give the Bears a 3-point lead. But the Wolves’ Austin Selby fired up a 60-foot desperation shot from beyond the half line that swished the net and sent the game to the first overtime period, 36-all.

Selby had 30 of Reeds 41 points on the night.

Each team scored only two points in the first overtime period, but in the second extra stanza Ava was able to get the lead and put the Wolves in a position where they had to foul.

Ava, which has not been overly effective at the line this season, hit enough late in the game to seal the victory. Tuesday night the Bears were 20-for-29 at the line.

Gastineau led Ava with 18 points and Philpott added 11. Others scoring for Ava were Leonard 7, Loge 5, Dixon 5, and Kutz 2.

Coach Houk said Philpott and Leonard both did an excellent job of rebounding and Gastineau, Kutz, Dixon and Loge played great perimeter defense.

“The Selby kid for Reeds Spring had a big game, but we were able to hold the rest of the team to just 11 points combined,” Coach Houk said.

“I think when you hold a COC team to just 41 points in 40 minutes of basketball you have done a good job defensively,” he added.

The Bears will play at Marshfield this Friday night, and will play in the Conway Tournament next week.