Ava Bears Lead Every Quarter to Take Win

Doug Berger/Herald Conway defender tries to defend Ava Bear Blayne Mendel driving on the basket.

The Ava Bears basketball squad took a 73-48 win over Conway in a non-conference matchup early last week.

The Bears went out to a 12-4 lead with some early long range shooting from Quinton Donley and Andrew Daulton. Daulton opened the game with a three-pointer and Donley followed with the first of his two during the early Ava run. The Bears stretched their lead out to 23-9, before Conway scored seven in a short run of their own. Ava scored the final two of the quarter and held a 25-16 edge.

Ava outscored Conway, 19-12, in the second quarter to take a 44-28 lead into halftime. Dalton scored 13 of the Bears 19 in the quarter. At one point in the quarter he went on an 11 point run.

The Bears put the game away in the third quarter when they held Conway to nine points and tallied 21 of their own.

Four Bears were in double figures in the game. Dalton had 28; Blayne Mendel, 16; Mason Cole, 13; and Quinton Donley, 12. Ethan Donley and Bryse Dodson added two each.

Later in the week, the Bears fell to Liberty, 75-72.

Ava went out to a 22-13 first quarter lead. Liberty came back in the second period to tie the game at halftime, 35-35. Long distance shooting put Liberty on top after three quarters of play, 52-46. The Eagles sank five three-point shots in the quarter to take the lead. In the game Liberty scored almost half of their points from behind the three-point stripe, sinking 12 three-pointers. In a high scoring final quarter, Ava made a run at the Eagles, outscoring them 26-23, but the Bears couldn’t make up the difference.

Dalton led the Bears scoring with 41. Cole had 11; Mendel, nine; Quinton Donley, six; and Ethan Donley, five.

The Bears will host Clever on Friday.

Ava will participate in the Family Pharmacy Panther Classic in both the varsity and junior varsity divisions next week at Mountain Grove.

On Monday, Jan. 25, the Bears will face Dora at 6 p.m. in the varsity tournament in the high school arena. The Bears will play their second game of the varsity tournament at 6 p.m. on Thursday facing Mountain Grove. The tournament finals will be played on Saturday. The fifth place game will be played at 3 p.m.; third place, 4:30 p.m.; first place, 6 p.m.

In the junior varsity tournament, Ava will face Cabool at 7:30 p.m. on Monday. On Thursday Ava will face Mountain Grove at 7:30 p.m.

The junior varsity finals will also be played on Saturday. The fifth place game will be played at 1:30 p.m. in the high school gym. The third place game will also be played in the high school gym at 3 p.m. The first place game will be played at 1:30 p.m. in the Arena.

Doug Berger/Herald
Ava Bear Mason Cole lays up a shot against Conway.