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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Heartbreaker in Hillcrest

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

FLOOR GENERAL: Mammoth Spring point guard Houston Cooper looks for some breathing room on the baseline in the Class 1A State Tournament in Lynn. The Bears knocked off Mount Vernon-Enola before falling to the host team from Hillcrest in double-overtime in the second round. Photos/Mullins
To be sure, these were not the same group of Hillcrest Screamin' Eagles that the Mammoth Spring Bears had already knocked off three times this season.

After all, just two days previous, Hillcrest had done the unthinkable by stunning the state's top-ranked Class 1A team, the Bradley Bears, 61-47, knocking Bradley out of the state tourney and giving the team its only loss in 31 games this season.

Still buoyed by that victory and fueled by a jam-packed, standing-room only home crowd, the Screamin' Eagles kept their dream season rolling with a hard-fought 42-35 double-overtime win over Mammoth Spring March 4 in the Class 1A state quarterfinals in Lynn.

And just like the other three times these two 1A-2 North foes had squared off against each other this year, this one was low-scoring and physical.

Locked at 30-all after regulation, Garrett Wooldridge gave Mammoth Spring (27-9) a two-point lead with the first bucket of overtime number one. Wooldridge paced the Bears with a 15-point, 10-rebound double, double.

Hillcrest's Logan Spray hit a layup to square things at 32-all and although both teams had chances to score as the first overtime period drew to a close, neither could do it and the game moved to a second extra frame.

And the Screamin' Eagles (24-11) had their way in the second overtime, outscoring Mammoth Spring 10-3 in the second OT.

Trevor Morgan hit a layup to give Hillcrest a lead it would not relinquish, followed by free throws from Dylan and Derek Wooten that edged the Screamin' Eagles in front 37-32.

Mammoth Spring had a couple of looks at 3-pointers, but just could not get one to go in the hoop.

While the Bears struggled for points, Hillcrest hit three more charity tosses to move in front 40-32.

Mason Brown finally nailed a trey for Mammoth Spring with 29 ticks left, but Spray sealed the deal with two more free throws, giving Hillcrest its first win over the Bears this season, along with a spot in the Class 1A Final Four.

"They got us when they needed to. Derek Wooten had a huge blocked shot on a layup with about 20 seconds to go in the first OT that saved the game for Hillcrest," said Mammoth Spring Head Coach Jeremy Cude. "They made plays when they had to and we couldn't, but I'm very proud of my young men for the season they had, just hate that it ended tonight. But Coach (Andy) Durham and Hillcrest did a great job."

Hillcrest led 9-6 after the first period of regulation, using a 7-0 run to break open the first period.

Wooldridge was the large part of Mammoth Spring's offense early, as he racked up 14 of the Bears' first 23 points in the game.

Freshman Matt Turnbough (six points) also came up big with a couple of timely triples, the first coming in the middle of an 8-0 run for Mammoth Spring in the second period. That spurt pushed the Bears in front 14-13, but Spray stuck back a missed shot late in the frame to give Hillcrest a 15-14 advantage at intermission.

The lead swapped sides in the third and when the period ended, Mammoth Spring was on top 23-21.

Tied at 26-all midway into the fourth, the Bears moved back in front thanks to a pair of lob passes from Houston cooper (eight assists) that Caleb Brown (nine points) turned into layups, giving Mammoth Spring a 30-26 cushion.

But Morgan and Spray hit inside hoops for Hillcrest that pulled the Screamin' Eagles even with the Bears at 30-all with under three minutes left to play in the fourth.

Mammoth Spring passed the ball around and worked the clock for the final shot, but that shot was off the mark, sending the game into the first of its two extra four-minute stanzas.

Austin Hite finished with two points for Mammoth Spring.

In the opening round March 3, the Bears held off Mount Vernon-Enola, state runners-up from a year ago, 51-44.

The Warhawks (29-9) led 33-31 after three periods of play, before the Bears got churning and took control of the last eight minutes of action.

Mammoth Spring reeled off the first 12 points of the fourth, holding Mount Vernon-Enola without any points until the 2:55 mark, to rally from behind and knock off the Warhawks 51-44.

The Bears took an early 11-6 lead, at one point leading 11-0 to start the game, after the first period, but Mount Vernon-Enola used a late push in the second to edge in front 20-19 at the half.

Caleb Brown paved the way with 19 points and six rebounds, while Wooldridge added 17 points and eight boards.

Hite finished with eight, with Wes Coffey adding three points. Chris Young and Cooper (nine assists) hit for two points each.

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