The Mammoth Spring Lady Bears have had lengthy holdovers after each win, but, after knocking off conference foe Norfork 63-52 on Jan. 11, head coach Crystal Tackett said the team is headed in the right direction.
"We haven't been playing very well. We've had some injuries and those girls are coming back now. We got some time off at Christmas and we're starting to roll again. And we'll try to stay rolling through conference play and into the district tournament," Tackett said.
At the end of the first quarter, the Lady Bears held a 15-11 lead over the Lady Panthers, led by junior Sammie Jo Honeycutt and seniors Kaitlin Stewart and Sydney Peck with four points each.
The second quarter was more of the same for the Lady Bears, but junior Alex Taylor dropped nine points to give her 11 in the first half. Mammoth Spring led 34-24 at the end of the second quarter.
A low scoring third quarter left Mammoth with a 43-36 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Peck had five points, but the story of the quarter was junior Caitlin Vanginhoven putting the team on her back in the closing minutes. Vanginhoven was fouled and went to free throw line three times in the fourth quarter, hit a three pointer and got a steal that led to a layup on the other end. Vanginhoven had 11 points in the final period and 19 total points. Peck finished second in points with 15 and Taylor added 13 more. Stewart added eight, Honeycutt finished with six and senior Shira Geisenberger had two.
The girls currently stand at 5-15 overall and 2-4 in conference play. Tackett said all of the team's goals are still in sight.
"We lost a close game here against Calico Rock, 38-37. We had the last shot and couldn't capitalize. I think that game boosted our confidence to know we could still compete in the conference," Tackett said. "Whoever can get their kids to peak at the right time is going to win. It's pretty close right now. Viola is probably going to be the number one seed going into the conference tournament, and the rest of us are just fighting it our for second."
On the same night, the boys had a tough test against the Panthers.
The first quarter was an old fashion slugfest. Neither team was pulling ahead, because both teams were playing with so much hustle. But at the end of one period, Norfork had built a 17-13 lead.
By the end of the first half the game had gotten out of hand with Norfork taking a 37-23 lead into the locker room. Norfork eventually got the win, 74-31.
The junior Lady Bears also lost, 37-21 to the junior Panthers.