The Mammoth Spring Bears and Viola Longhorns took a break from play in their respective conferences Jan. 24 to hook up for a pair of games with the Longhorns, taking both games by 10 points, winning the senior girls' game 53-43, and the senior boys' contest 78-68.
In boys' action, the Longhorns jumped out to a large lead after three, then withstood a late run by the Bears to hold on for victory.
The Bears got a pair of big performances from Seth Risner with 21 points, including five 3-pointers, and Adam Brown with 20, while Viola countered with balance from Dustin Jones (16), John Mark Montgomery (13), and Brett Cotter (12).
Viola stormed out to an 11-0 lead behind the inside play of Jones before Brown got the Bears on the scoreboard with a layup at the 4:47 mark of the first.
Mammoth Spring's deficit stood at 22-6 when Risner hit his first long trey of the evening with 30 seconds left, but the Bears still trailed 24-9 after one.
The Bears edged closer to open the second as they tossed in the first seven points of the period to claw within eight at 24-16.
John Mark Montgomery stopped the Mammoth Spring run with a corner trey, and Jones worked the low block for six straight points to extend the Viola lead to 33-17 midway into the period.
The Longhorn advantage stood at 41-24 at the half.
Viola remained hot in the third as they outscored Mammoth Spring 19-9 in the frame to lead by 27, 60-33, after three.
The Viola reserve squad opened play for the Longhorns in the fourth and the Bears seized this chance to get closer by using a 20-2 run to climb back into contention.
Risner busted three long 3-balls in the span of a couple of minutes to finish the Bears' run with Mammoth Spring down by nine, 70-61 with 2:00 left in the game.
The Bears could get no closer as the Longhorn seniors came back on the court at this point to stop the Mammoth Spring rally, and preserve the 78-68 win.
In the girls' game, the Lady Longhorns shrugged off a four-point halftime deficit to emerge with a 53-43 win.
The Lady Longhorns held a 15-6 lead at the 1:15 point of the first period as Lindsey Barker (13 points) hit a layup.
Mammoth Spring responded with an 11-0 run that stretched into the second period.
Jessie Walsh (eight points) closed the first period for the Lady Bears with a 3-pointer to narrow the Viola margin to 15-11.
When Kaycee Estes (eight points) tossed in a layup at the 3:38 mark of the second, the Lady Bears had grabbed the lead at 17-15.
Mammoth Spring built upon this margin behind Ashley Mero's six points in the period to lead 25-21 at the half.
The Lady Longhorns opened play in the third on fire as they ripped off a 17-2 run to snatch the lead back at 38-29.
Dana Carroll's 3-pointer with 10 seconds left in the frame stopped the Lady Longhorn stampede with Viola in front 38-32 after three.
The Lady Longhorns held steady in the last frame as Brandi Shrable (16 points) set up shop on the baseline and tossed in six points in the period to help Viola ease past the homestanding Lady Bears 53-43.