In a three-game set in 1A-2 North play at Mammoth Spring Jan. 24, the Hillcrest junior girls' quickness on defense and accuracy from the perimeter was too much for the Mammoth Spring junior Lady Bears. Hillcrest came out on top, 42-31, in the evening opener.
Hillcrest used its visible height advantage in the post as its offensive focus in the first game.
In the next match-up, the Lady Bears used the home court advantage and team hustle to hold a 15-13 lead at the end of one.
With ball control out front, Kaitlyn Haney and Sydney Peck used the dribble-drive to find Kendal Rogers or Kayla Hale cutting to the basket for points.
The Lady Bears held a 22-16 advantage at the half break and increased their point spread to 37-28 at the end of three quarters of play.
Shy Smoot's aggressiveness to the ball, and good floor positioning for rebounds held Hillcrest's taller post player off the boards and won out as Mammoth Spring's team play connected for 10 more points in the final quarter for the Lady Bears' 47-36 victory over Hillcrest.
After the recognition of all 20 Mammoth Spring high senior athletes, the boys' varsity Bears went to work.
The senior leadership and experience of the Mammoth Spring Bears became very evident, with Wayne Coffey driving the lanes for points and crashing the boards to pull down rebounds.
The Hillcrest defense turned its back for an instant, which gave Houston Cooper a wide open alley to the hoop, as the Bears jumped to a 21-13 first-quarter lead.
Matt Turnbough stroked the net from his spot outside the arc, as the Mammoth Spring Bears moved out to a 42-21 advantage at the half.
Senior Garrett Wooldridge cleared the boards, drove the ball across the time-line and found teammates in the open for assists.
Mason Brown got a roller off the finger tips at the buzzer to end the third quarter.
The Bears were on top 63-36 to start the final frame.
Mammoth Spring coach Jeremy Cude was able to filter in younger players, who rounded out the night and sealed the 80-50 win over rival Hillcrest.