It didn't take long for Salem's Morgan Mills to flex his muscles Jan. 29 against the Mammoth Spring Bears.
Mills, the Greyhounds' senior post presence, tossed in 11 of his game high 21 in the first period as Salem knocked the Bears out of the Izard County Invitational Tournament with a tight 49-48 victory.
All but two of Salem's 13 first period points came from Mills as the Greyhounds held Mammoth Spring to two field goals in the frame as they led 13-5 after one.
The Bears clawed back into the game in the second period as a 1-6 run pulled them within three, 19-16, at the 3:38 mark.
This run featured five points from Seth Risner (13 points) including the Bears' first trey of the game.
Justin Howell hit the Greyhound's first shot from downtown with 2:05 left until the half to move Salem in front 23-17.
Kaleb Smith's (10 points) 3-ball at the 1:00 mark closed the scoring for Mammoth Spring, and Mills finished the half just as he started it for Salem, with an inside hoop, to give the Greyhounds a 27-21 halftime advantage.
The Bears refused to roll over, and a couple of treys from Smith and Risner to start the third period found the game tied at 29-all.
A corner 3-ball from Greyhound Tyler Humphries with 1:45 left in the third pushed Salem's lead to 38-31 before the Bears closed fast with the last four points of the period to remain within striking distance, 38-35 after three.
Risner knotted the game for the second time as his 3-ball to open the last frame had things locked up at 38-all.
The Bears took their first lead of the game the next time down court as a fast break layup from Smith put Mammoth Spring on top 40-38.
The lead see-sawed back and forth for the remainder of the period, and with 28 seconds left in the game, Mammoth Spring clung to a 48-46 lead.
With 26 seconds on the clock, Garrett Kissinger was fouled by the Bears in a scramble for a loose ball, and was awarded with foul shots.
Kissinger sank the front end of a one-and-one, but missed the bonus.
The two teams tussled for the rebound with Salem grabbing possession and calling timeout with under 20 seconds left to play, trailing 48-47.
After play resumed, the Greyhounds moved the ball around until Jamie Sisk (11 points) popped free to hit the eight-foot game-winning baseline jumper with eight ticks on the clock.
The Bears headed down court with the inbounds in a hurry, but lost the ball without getting a shot as the final horn sounded, giving the Greyhounds a thrilling 49-48 win.