Conference play in the 2-AA North ranks continued with a pair of games between the homestanding Salem Greyhounds and the visiting Mammoth Spring Bears on Jan. 29.
On this night, the Bears had too much bite for the Greyhounds, winning the girls' contest 52-36, and taking the boys' game 52-31.
In the girls' game, the Lady Bears pulled away after a close first period for an easy victory.
Senior Jodi McCollum sparked the Lady Greyhounds with a trey, and then a deuce to open the game with a 5-0 Salem lead.Lady Bear Morgan Haney, a junior, fired in a couple of long bombs of her own to pull Mammoth Spring to within 1, at 7-6.A steal and layup from senior Erica Hall with 40 seconds left in the first period kept Salem on top 11-9.
This would be the last time the Lady Greyhounds enjoyed the lead.
Junior Jessie Walsh converted two free throws to end the period with the score knotted at 11-all.
The Lady Bears upped the ante in the second frame with a renewed burst of defense.
A full-court trapping attack kept the Lady Greyhounds from scoring until the 4:09 mark of the period on a 3-pointer by senior Amy Winberry.
By this point, the Lady Bears had gathered a little breathing room with a 22-14 advantage.
A couple of stickbacks from junior Tesa Bishop and a charity toss from sophomore Stephanie Barker rounded out the Salem scoring in the period.
Mammoth Spring led 25-19 at the half.The Lady Bears opened the third frame with a spurt similar to the one they rode in the second.
When Morgan Haney canned her third trey of the evening at the 3:34 mark, Mammoth Spring was on the verge of running away at 35-23.
The Lady Bear defense held Salem to 7 points in the period, and a 41-26 Mammoth Spring lead at the end of three.The Lady Bears continued to limit scoring opportunities for Salem, holding them to 10 points in the last period en route to a final of 52-36.
Senior Chelsea Tyson paced the Lady Bears with 13 points.The Lady Greyhounds were led by Jodi McCollum and Erica Hall with 7 points each.
In boys' action, points were hard to come by in the first half.
This was not a surprise for Salem, with senior Jamie Sisk sitting out with an ankle injury, but Mammoth Spring struggled mightily at converting their scoring chances.The Greyhounds got on the scoreboard quickly with a 4-0 lead thanks to a couple of inside buckets from sophomore Leon Harvey and junior Garrett Kissinger.
The Bears answered back with 4 straight inside of their own, and an 8-4 advantage.
Mammoth Spring closed out the first period with a long 3-ball from senior Matt Newman and a layup by sophomore Wesley Whiteside for a 13-6 lead at the end of one.
The second frame found both squads trying to pry the lids off the baskets at each end of the court.
The Bear defense was sparkling, holding the Greyhounds to just 6 points in the second period.
The Bear offense was not, managing only 7 points during the same stretch, to take a 20-12 lead to halftime.Matt Newman opened the third period with a steal and layup for a 22-12 Bear lead.
Sophomore Woody Harlow got the Greyhounds on the scoreboard with a layup at the 6:04 mark.
Another strong showing of Bear defense kept the Greyhounds from scoring again until the 2:43 point, with the score in the Bears' favor at 27-16.
The Bears led by 9, 31-20 at the end of three. Mammoth Spring started to find their missing offense in the last period.
After logging 31 points through the first 3 periods, the Bears broke out for 21 in the fourth to pull away for the 52-31 victory.
Matt Newman led the Bears with a game high 18 points.Leon Harvey paced Salem with 8.