Bears finish week at 1-2

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By John Shindlebower

The Spencer County Bears went 1-2 over the past week, but played one of their best games of the season on the road in Washington County last Thursday.
The Bears opened play last week with a 65-55 loss to a good Kentucky Country Day squad. Outsized, the Bears fell behind 16-7 after one quarter, but managed to climb back into the game when Ros Goodwin hit two three-pointers at the beginning of the second quarter to make it 16-13. When Brandon Miller sank a three with just under three minutes remaining in the first half, the Bears took a brief 22-21 lead, but KCD went on a 5-0 run to end the half with a 26-22 advantage.
The second half saw several attempts by the Bears to catch up to the Bearcats, and they tied on one occasion at 28-28 following a Jacob Hollar shot, but KCD was always able to put some distance between the teams and they built on that lead late in the fourth quarter to make the final margin 10 points.
Miller led the way for the Bears with 16 points while Goodwin added 11. Brennen Smith added eight, Jacob Hollar scored seven, Alex Dennis had five and Bryce Mills scored four.
On Thursday, the Bears traveled to Springfield and jumped out to an early lead on the Commanders and never looked back.
The Bears got scoring from all their starters early on, with Miller, Goodwin, Bridger Knotts  and Brennen Smith all hitting three-pointers on the way to building a huge 17-3 lead. They kept the scoring going in the second quarter and took a 39-26 lead into the locker room at the half.
Washington County was able to cut the lead to 10 at one point in the fourth quarter, but a five-point run by the Bears put the game out of reach as they won by the final count of 73-52.
Miller led the way with 22 points with Hollar adding 12 and Goodwin and Knotts each scoring 10. Bryce Mills added eight points, Brennen Smith had seven and Aaron Shindlebower scored six.
On Friday, the Bears were back in action against 8th Region foe, Henry County. This was a close game throughout even though the visiting Wildcats raced out to an early 8-0 lead. The Bears ended the first quarter on a 10-0 run to take a two-point lead at the first break.
Spencer County built that lead to 19-12 when Goodwin scored off a steal, but Henry County battled back. The Bears held a slim 24-20 lead at halftime.
The third quarter was more of the same as the lead changed hands a couple of times with neither team leading by more than four. Mills and Hollar played big on defense, blocking several shots to keep the game close, setting up an exciting, down-to-the-wire finish.
With Henry County up 44-42 with just over two minutes remaining, Miller found Mills open under the basket. Mills rose up for a two-handed slam that excited the home crowd and tied the game, 44-44.
Henry County then took possession and milked the clock before attacking the basket and scoring with about 35 seconds left. The Bears then committed a turnover to give Henry County the ball back, but good defense got Spencer County one more shot. A steal led to a three-point attempt by Miller that was just off the mark, and Henry County rebounded and ran out the clock.
For the game, Miller led the way with 15 points while Goodwin and Mills each added nine. Alex Dennis scored six points, Hollar added three and Smith scored two.
The Bears were to travel to Shelbyville on Tuesday for a game against the Rockets, with a chance to get the top seed in the district tourney on the line. Win and hold Shelby County to under 48 points, and the Bears will get the top spot.
On Thursday the Bears will play host to Holy Cross at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday, they will travel to Grant County at 7:30 p.m. before returning home next Monday to take on North Bullitt at 7:30 p.m.