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Monday, May 2, 2016

Battle Across the Border a split

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mammoth Spring's Garrett Wooldridge hits a fade-away jumper, for two of his game-high 28 points in the Bears' 56-46 victory over the Thayer Bobcats Dec. 16. Photo/Looney [Order this photo]
The 2011 Battle Across the Border between Mammoth Spring and Thayer was played to a full house at the THS gymnasium Dec. 16.

And when the smoke had cleared, the visiting team from Arkansas went back home with one win -- a 56-46 victory for the Bears.

The Lady Bobcats defended their home court with purpose, knocking off Mammoth Spring 64-39 earlier in the evening.

In the girls' clash, the visiting Lady Bears could not handle the defensive ball pressure and break- away points from the Lady Bobcats.

With a total of eight Mammoth Spring turnovers in the first quarter, the Lady Bobcats held only a six-point edge, 12-6, at the end of one.

With every shot contested and every rebound fought for, Thayer out-paced the Lady Bears.

Emily Eckman picked up 17 of her game-high 22 points in the first half with fast breaks down the court on every change of possession.

Mammoth Spring Head Coach Crystal Tackett made wholesale personnel changes, but to no avail, with the Lady Bears netting only seven points in the second frame, for a 31-13 Lady Bobcat advantage at intermission.

Mammoth Spring's Sydney Peck and Kaitlyn Haney played close defense, but could not stop Thayer's Elly Burrell (16) who picked up points in the paint. The third quarter ended with the Lady Bobcats up 46-22.

Tiffany Angotti sparked some points in the final frame, but the margin was too much and the break-away speed of the Lady Bobcats was too much for the visiting Lady Bears, as Thayer won 64-39.

In the boys' battle, although many of the players on both the Bobcats and the Bears have competed against each other since grade school and have played as teammates in summer league basketball games, it could be said that this game was more about bragging rights, across the border.

Bobcat Ricky Smith nailed a trey, as did Jacob Foley, in the first two minutes of the game, helping Thayer jump out to a 6-0 lead.

Mammoth Spring Coach Jeremy Cude called a quick timeout to regroup.

His troops responded and a trey from Matt Turnbough knotted the score at 10-all, with just over three to play in the first quarter.

That even score of double dimes held throughout the final ticks to end one period knotted at 10-10.

Mammoth Spring Bear forward Garrett Wooldridge put on a clinic in scoring in the second quarter.

Pull-up jumpers, net -- fade away jumper = net, drives along the baseline = net and 14 second-quarter points to push the Bears to a halftime lead.

Thayer's dance team entertained the audience and the Mammoth Spring cheerleaders, with the state champion Thayer cheer team, preformed a joint Christmas carol routine.

After the half break and words of encouragement from both coaches, the Bobcats attempted to shut down the easy shots in the paint.

The Bears found open shots from Mason Brown in the third to add to their total and end the third with 37-33 lead over the Bobcats.

Austin Henry and Ricky Smith drained a 3-pointer apiece for the Bobcats in the final frame, but could not shut down the potent offense of the Mammoth Spring Bears.

With a lead and possession of the ball, the Bears ran time off the clock and held on to the 10-point advantage at the final buzzer for the 56-46 win.

So for another year, the border bragging rights stay in Arkansas with the Mammoth Spring Bears.

Garrett Wooldridge lead the Mammoth Spring Bears in scoring with 28 points, while Mason Brown tallied in double figures with 11.

Thayer's Ricky Smith topped the Bobcat scorers with 18.

Austin Henry followed with 11.

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