THAYER -- The border battle concluded last week with the Thayer Bobcats claiming a clean sweep over the Bears of Mammoth Spring. The first quarter of the girls' game was close, but after that, it was all Lady Bobcats. Thayer used a 23-6 second quarter to put it out of reach for Mammoth Spring and went on to win 63-37. The Lady Bobcats opened the game with Shana Cooper using a stickback, a short jumper and a layup on the break to give Thayer the early 6-0 lead. Megan Underwood hit a charity toss, then Cooper hit another deuce to open the lead to 9-0. The Lady Bears got on the board at the 4:10 mark in the first quarter when Chelsea Tyson knocked down a jumper in the lane, then Brandi Hamilton hit from the right wing. Underwood cranked back up for the Lady Bobcats, hitting a layup on the fly, but back-to-back buckets by Tyson got Mammoth to within 3 points. Thayer finished the quarter out with a Sarah Caldwell jumper off the free throw line, staking the Lady Bobcats to a 13-8 first quarter lead. Thayer opened the second quarter in a flurry, running off 9 unanswered points. Caldwell hit a trey from the right wing, then Underwood hit a jumper from 15 feet, then Cooper hit back-to-back buckets to push the Lady Bobcats lead to 22-8. Morgan Haney broke up the run with a slicing layup, but Thayer was off again. Underwood stole the ball at half-court and took it back for a layup, then Cooper hit one of two from the free throw line. Underwood got out front for another layup, then Cooper hit a 16 footer from up top to give Thayer a 29-10 advantage. Lacee Roper canned a 16 footer off the left baseline to stop the run, but the Lady Bobcats finished off the half with a 7-2 run to take a 36-12 halftime lead. The Lady Bobcats kept the intensity up in the third quarter, outscoring Mammoth Spring 17-7 to put the game out of reach. Caldwell opened up the scoring in the fourth quarter for the Lady Bobcats with a trey from the right wing and then a driving layup from the left side, giving Thayer a 41-14 lead. At the end of the third quarter Mammoth trailed 53-21. With time running short Thayer got a short jumper from McAlmond to go up 63-33, but the Lady Bears ended the game with 4 straight points. Carroll and Tyson hit one of two free throws each, sandwiched around a Roper jumper in the lane. Scoring for Thayer: Cooper 19), Caldwell (17), Underwood (15), McAlmond (6), Prewitt (4), and Jones (2). For Mammoth Spring: Tyson (17), Haney (5), Roper (5), Carroll (4), Walsh (4), Hamilton (2). In the boys' matchup, the game was not decided so early, but the Bobcats prevailed 56-43. The first quarter was a slow, methodical, patient game, with both sides trying to find the weakness in their opponent. Mammoth Spring got on the board first with a Matt Newman trey from the top of the key, and it came at the 6:11 mark. Thayer didn't take long after that to get their game rolling, and Josh Eubanks grabbed a rebound and used a jump hook shot to put the Bobcats on the board.
Seth Wooldridge hit a 12-foot jumper off the right side to give the Bears a 5-2 lead, but it didn't last long. Thayer took their first lead when Jonathan Smith got a stickback and then came back down and hit two charity tosses, giving the Bobcats a 6-5 lead. The Bears used two charity tosses each from Wesley Whiteside and Seth Risner to take a 9-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Thayer closed the lead when Timothy Eckman hit the floater in the lane, but the Bears got two free throws from Whiteside. The Bobcats went on a spree, running off 9 unanswered points to reclaim the lead. Smith hit an NBA 3-pointer, then added two charity tosses on the next trip. Josh Garrison hit a 10 footer off the right baseline, and Eckman added a jumper in the lane to give Thayer a 17-11 lead. Mammoth Spring clawed their way back into the game, getting 5 quick points. Newman added a free throw, and then Wooldridge hit the layup on the break. Whiteside finished it off with a spinner in the lane, getting the Bears back to within a point. Thayer closed out the half with a charity toss from Eckman, giving the Bobcats a 20-18 halftime lead. Derek Todd opened the third quarter with a long range trey to give the Bears the lead once again. Eubanks got one of two free throws to fall, knotting the game at 21-all. Risner broke the tie with a backdoor layin, briefly giving Mammoth Spring the lead, just long enough for Eubanks to stick back a rebound, and the game was again tied at 23-23. Back-to-back buckets from Garrison gave the Bobcats the lead for good. Eubanks added a backdoor bucket. Wooldridge hit a jumper off the free throw line to interrupt the Bobcat run, and get the Bears to within a couple of points. Garrison continued his assault, hitting the driving layup to give Thayer a 4-point lead. Todd answered for the Bears in the form of a trey. A floater in the lane by Garrison and a stickback from Eubanks gave the Bobcats a 5-point lead that would hold until right at the end of the third quarter when an Eckman jumper from the top of the key would boost the lead to 7 points heading into the final stanza. In the fourth quarter Eubanks and Garrison hit back-to-back buckets, giving Thayer their first double digit lead of the night. Newman cut into the Bears deficit with a trey, but Thayer ran off 6 unanswered points. Eubanks stuck back a rebound, and Eckman hit a couple of free throws and then a jumper in the lane, staking the Bobcats to a 51-37 lead. Whiteside came back for the Bears with a crashing layup, and then Risner added a couple of charity tosses to get the Bears back to within 10 points.
Thayer used the clock to seal the victory. A couple of free throws each by Eckman and Smith finished up the scoring. Scoring for Thayer: Eckman (16), Eubanks (15), Garrison (12), Smith (11), and Thompson (2). For Mammoth Spring: Newman (11), Whiteside (10), Wooldridge (8), Todd (6), Risner (6), and Greene (2).