The Mammoth Spring junior Bears accomplished a couple of big things on the afternoon of Jan. 17 in the finals of the Hillcrest Screamin' Eagle Junior High Tournament.
Not only did Mammoth Spring run its season record to a perfect 22-0, the junior Bears also gave Cedar Ridge its first loss of the year, as the team from Fulton County won the tourney championship with a 42-38 victory over the junior Timberwolves.
The game was locked at 7-all after one, but Mammoth Spring outscored Cedar Ridge 13-8 in the second period to go on top 20-15 at intermission.
Houston Cooper (eight points, seven assists) hit five big free throws in the last two minutes of play to help the junior Bears to the win.
Garrett Wooldridge paced Mammoth Spring with 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
Mason Brown added nine points, with Austin Hite grabbing eight boards for Mammoth Spring.
In the semis on Jan. 15, Wooldridge nailed the game-winning shot, a five-footer in the lane with 40 ticks left to play, helping Mammoth Spring knock off Izard County 20-18.
Wooldridge's game winner was the only time the entire night that the junior Bears had the lead on their side, in their third clash with the junior Cougars this year.
Mammoth Spring won each meeting with Izard County by two points.
After taking the lead, the junior Bears started using up the team fouls they had left to take time off the clock.
With the clock down to four seconds, the junior Cougars did get a shot, from the corner, off at the buzzer, but it fell short, giving Mammoth Spring another thrilling victory over the junior Cougars.
Izard County jumped in front early, taking an 11-3 lead after one and 18-10 at the half.
But Mammoth Spring outscored the junior Cougs 10-0 in the second half.
Matt Turnbough paced Mammoth Spring with nine points.
The junior Bears opened play with a 35-27 win over the Cave City junior Cavemen Jan. 12.
Wooldridge led Mammoth Spring with 10 points, five rebounds and three assists. Cooper added eight points and five assists for the junior Bears.