Coach Bob Maguffee didn't look at all uncomfortable in the gymnasium on the Mammoth Spring High School campus.
Not uncomfortable -- just different.
After guiding the Mammoth Springs Bears the past few seasons, including last year, Maguffee returned to town Nov. 7 and took a seat on the visiting team's bench as head coach of the Salem Lady Greyhounds.
And Maguffee's homecoming was a good one, as the Lady Greyhounds used a tough low post game to wrest a 61-45 victory from the host Lady Bears in non-conference hoops action.
Later in the evening, the Bears evened things up by running past the Greyhounds 69-58 in a put-the-hammer-down-and-run affair.
In the girls' clash, the visiting Lady Greyhounds grabbed the lead midway through the first period and refused to look back, thanks to some aggressive work in the paint.
Ashley Cassidy, Victoria Gatewood and Jenny Neal all had big games around the basket for Salem. Cassidy paced the Lady Hounds with 15 points, while Gatewood added 10 and Neal finished with eight.
Salem was on top 8-7 with just over a minute left in the first when it used a strong push to open some breathing room.
Tiffany Broyles (six points) converted an old-fashioned 3-point play, Cassidy nailed a layup, and Neal capped off a 8-0 burst with another hoop and free throw to push the Lady Greyhounds on top 16-7 after one.
This lead stood at 19-7 when the Lady Bears found the action behind the 3-point arc to be to their liking.
Kayly Vest (10 points) hit one trey, with Courtney Risner (11 points) drilling two more, over a three-minute stretch in the second to keep Mammoth Spring hanging around, down 25-16.
While the outside opened up for the Lady Bears, Salem continued to find success right around the hoop, and Cassidy tossed in the last four points of the first half, including a layup at the buzzer, that gave the Lady Greyhounds a 35-24 advantage at intermission.
Needing some points in a hurry to spark a comeback, the Lady Bears instead suffered a cold start to the third period.
Kylee Busch (six points) hit Mammoth Spring's first bucket of the third at the 2:55 mark of the frame, with her team in a 45-27 bind.
Despite starting the third cold, the Lady Bears did enjoy a warmer finish to the stanza.
Ashley Walsh (nine points) started a late run for Mammoth Spring with a layup, followed by a short jumper from Melanie Maguffee (seven points).
Walsh finished off a 9-1 run for Mammoth Spring with a big trey that found the bottom of the twine just as the buzzer sounded to end the period.
While this late push had narrowed the gap for the Lady Bears to 12, 48-36 after three, Salem came out in the final frame and hit five straight points to re-establish control and keep Mammoth Spring at bay, en route to a 16-point win for the Lady Hounds.
Jamie James tallied 11 points for Salem, while Jordan Nelson had seven, and Lairen Hall finished with four.
If you want to push the pace on offense, you need two things -- someone to dish the rock and someone to put in the hole. In Mammoth Spring's victory over the Greyhounds, the Bears had just such a duo.
Seth Godwin handed out a game-high 14 assists, while Aaron Shipp posted a game-high 21 points to lead the Bears past Salem. Lance Powell recorded a team-high 18 points to pace the Greyhounds on the night.
Both squads hit the floor at full-tilt to start the game and the pace never slacked up from there.
The Bears held a 16-14 lead after the first period of play before Salem managed to move in front 20-19 at the 4:57 mark of the second on a layup from Seth Lindbloom (13 points).
With the Hounds still clasping a two-point lead, 25-23, the Bears used a late blitz to knock Salem back on its heels right before intermission.
First, Shipp canned back-to-back treys, and then Adam Watson (15 points) used his quick hands to log a pair of steals, swipes he turned into back-to-back layups, pushing Mammoth Spring on top by 10, 35-25, with 1:08 left until the half.
The Hounds stopped this run with a free throw by Shane Smith (five points) and layup by Derek Estes (15 points), but the Bears had the last say on things when Godwin was fouled right as the horn sounded. Godwin tossed in one free throw with no time on the clock to give Mammoth Spring a 36-28 advantage at the break.
Mammoth Spring used the third period to completely let the air out of the Greyhounds' sails.
The Bears outscored Salem 22-8 in the third period, and a 13-0 Bear run ended the third with Mammoth Spring on top 58-36. Shipp ended the period in style by banking in a trey at the buzzer for the Bears.
This lead turned out to be enough, as Mammoth Spring kept a double-digit lead in the final frame and posted a 69-58 victory.
Gage Busch tallied an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double for the Bears.