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The Spencer County Bears recovered from a long layoff and a lopsided loss to Anderson County last week to put together their best performance of the season in a 86-81 win at Bullitt Central on Saturday.
The Bears got balanced scoring and unselfish passing in besting the Cougars in a game that had been postponed due to bad weather a week before.
Spencer County had been off for several days, missing games and practice because of bad weather, and when they returned to the court last Thursday in Lawrenceburg to face their rival Anderson County, the rust was evident in a 93-52 loss.
The Bears hung tight in the opening minutes, but Anderson County held a 19-12 lead after the first quarter then built on the lead in the second quarter. Hurting Spencer County’s cause was a lack of scoring from anyone besides Logan Dunbar and Trey Wyatt. The duo accounted for all 25 of the Bears’ first half points as they trailed 40-25.
Brian Thacker got into the scoring act quickly as the second half started, getting four quick points in the third quarter but Anderson County answered with points of their own and the Bearcats built a 20 point lead five minutes into the quarter and their press continued to take Spencer County out of their offense.
By the fourth quarter, the game was no longer in contention, but Spencer County did get a little more scoring from its bench, but not before the Bears went down to defeat.
For the game, Dunbar led the way with 23 points while Wyatt finished with 10. Thacker added eight points, Konner Barlow scored five, Ross Goodwin hit scored three and Stetson Baird finished with one.
There was little time for rest, as two nights later, Spencer County was traveling to Shepherdsville for the matchup with the Cougars.
The Bears fell behind early, but rallied and managed to hold on for the victory, the seventh win for the young squad this season.
Coach Jacob Barmore said it was easily their best game of the year.
“Overall, this was definitely our best performance of the year. I thought our players played a complete game,” said the coach.
“We had 16 assists for the game and this shows a tremendous effort of distributing the ball and looking for each other,” said Barmore, noting that the Bears managed only four assists at Anderson County.
“It was tremendous to see that much improvement from one game.”
For the game, Dunbar led the way with 23, Wyatt added 19, Thacker had 16 and Brandon Miller, the eighth grader who has started most of the season at point guard, had what Barmore called a ‘breakout’ game with 14 points.
As the season nears a close and tournament time approaches, Barmore continues to point to defense as the team’s biggest weakness.
“Our biggest downfall is points allowed per game. Until we get that down it will be tough for us to win consistently,” he said.
“Our system takes about three years to get to the point where we want to be on defense. Last year’s team improved to only giving up 51 points per game, but currently we are giving up 70.4. We have a long way to go on defense, but I like this team’s heart and willingness to never give up.”
The Bears were scheduled to host Shelby County Tuesday night, then will travel to Iroquois on Friday, will hit the road to Bethlehem next Tuesday night and then close the regular season at home next Thursday at home against South Oldham.