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Basketball Season Ends For Ava Lady Bears Monday Night

The Ava Lady Bears saw their 2012-13 basketball season come to an end Monday night, but not before another record was set.
Junior guard Bailey Lee hit one 3-point basket in the first-round district game against Springfield Catholic, which makes her the new single season 3-point leader with 56. Lee surpasses the previous record of 55 held by Jordan Wendler since the 2000-01 season.
Ava lost to Springfield Catholic 48-42 on Monday night in the first round of the Class 3, District 11 tournament at Hollister. Catholic, the No. 4 seed, was to face top-ranked Fair Grove in the semifinals on Wednesday night.
Monday’s game was nip and tuck all the way, and even the six-point final margin does not give an accurate representation of how close the game was.
Tied after one quarter of play at 10-all, the Lady Irish pulled out  to a 28-22 halftime lead. The third quarter was again close, with Catholic leading 35-31, and the Lady Bears were never out of striking distance. Catholic pulled away in the final minute when Ava had to foul to have a chance, and the Springfield girls made their free throws to stretch the lead.
Catholic hit 17 of  25 at the line, but the big difference was seven 3-point baskets, including four by sophomore guard Chelsea Collins who led all scorers with 19 points on the night.
Freshman Jacey Swofford led Ava with 13 points and senior guard Hannah Johnson added 12. Erica Croney had 7, Maison Bovard 6, and Lee 3.
The Ava Lady Bears finished the 2012-13 season with a record of 11-14 overall and 3-4 in the SCA.
The Lady Bears took a tough loss, 49-42, at Thayer last Thursday night in conference play.
Johnson and Bovard led the Ava girls with 10 points each and Lee added 9. Swofford had 8, Croney 3 and Callie Eubanks 2, to complete Ava’s scoring. Thayer led Ava 28-22 at halftime.
The Lady Bears will only graduate two seniors from this year’s squad, and should be a conference and district contender next season.
Up in the air at this time is who will be coaching the Lady Bears in 2013-14 since the resignation of head coach Clint Gazette on Feb. 5. Brandy Harvill, middle school basketball coach and former varsity coach, directed the team through the final four games of the season.