Another packed house was on hand at the Thayer High School Gymnasium Dec. 11 for the annual border rivalry game between the homestanding Cats and their guests from across the state line in Arkansas, the Mammoth Spring Bears and Lady Bears.
The senior girls hit the floor running to start the night and both teams scrapped all the way through four quarters of hard-fought action.
The Lady Bears were just not able to keep pace as the Lady Bobcats jumped out to a big lead and then poured on the steam.
A high-scoring first half from Micah Stevens, along with some strong defensive hustle and drives to the basket from Chelsey Cabrales, helped Thayer to a 78-54 win.
Before the start of the senior boys' game, both the Mammoth Spring and Thayer cheerleading squads combined to do a short but entertaining routine.
Then the senior boys turned up the intensity a bit, as two close rivals will do.
The Bears put up a great struggle, but were unable to cope with the speed, quickness and depth from the Bobcats.
Early in the contest, it was looking like a shutout for Mammoth Spring, that is until Aaron Ship (17 points) sank a long shot to get the Bears on the board.
An intense struggle for a ball rolling loose on the floor resulted in a broken nose for Thayer's Ryan Tate, and it will probably be a few weeks before his eyes return to normal.
Garrett Smith (eight points) stepped up his game, while Blake Horton (12 points), Lane Schneider (eight points) and Matt Kojdecki (nine points) were dangerous from beyond the arc, with Jacob Eckman (five points), Smith and Tate keeping tabs on the inside.
Of course the presence of Michael Lowther (11 points), gave the attending crowd their monies' worth with a lot of defense, hustle and drives to the hoop.
In the end, Thayer posted a 53-40 victory over Mammoth Spring.
Trevor Vincent added 10 points for the Bears, with Seth Godwin handing out five assists on the night.
The Bobcats made the short trip up Highway 63 on Dec. 14 to compete with the Koshkonong Bluejays.
The Cats jumped out to a quick lead 23-10 lead in the first quarter and finished the night with a 68-33 victory over Koshkonong.