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Seniors Houston Davis and Cutter Whitely haven’t seen an abundance of minutes for the Bears this season, but on Senior Night this past Thursday, they got the start and they took full advantage of the opportunity as they helped the Bears build a first half lead over Brown, on the way to a 82-63 victory.
Davis opened the scoring by hitting a shot despite being fouled. He sank the free-throw for an early 3-0 lead and a couple of minutes later, hit a lay-up to put Spencer up 8-0. Whitely would then hit a short jumper and the Bears were out to a 10-2 start. They would lead 17-7 after the first quarter and the lead was 8 at the half.
Brown had shown some spark in the second quarter, but the Bears began to pull away in the third and secured their eighth win of the season.
Davis finished with nine points while Whitely added six in their final regular season games.
“It was great to see Cutter and Houston get a lot of minutes. They are guys that do not get to play a lot, but they come every day and practice hard. All of our seniors have done a great job laying the foundation for the future of our program,” said coach Jason Burns.
Two other seniors who are accustomed to more playing time were also honored in pre-game festivities. Estevan Cordoba scored two points on the night while Cameron Fitts added 16. Blake Lambdin scored 17, Jamal Downs added nine, Kynan Smith had 8 and James Mouser had six points on two key three pointers in the second quarter. Jacob DeRudder added four, Jamie Newnam had three and Daniel Wheeler scored two.
The Brown game was a chance to bounce back from a couple of disappointing losses earlier in the week. On Tuesday, the boys dropped a 58-41 decision at Bethlehem, and on Monday, they fell 64-57 in a double-overtime thriller to North Bullitt.
The Bears and Eagles were back and forth early on and a Kynan Smith baseline drive that ended with a dunk put the Spencer County up 16-15 early in the second quarter and they would hold a slim 21-20 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, Spencer County used some good outside shooting to build a bigger lead. Five three pointers in the quarter helped the Bears build a 40-33 lead, but North Bullitt came charging back.
The visitors retook the lead 43-41 halfway through the final quarter and the two teams see-sawed back and forth the rest of the way. Justin Miller hit a key three-pointer in the last minute to give the Bears a two point lead, but the Eagles would tie it to force the first overtime.Cordoba blocked a North Bullitt shot and then scored on a drive at the other end to put the Bears up 49-47 with just under three minutes left in the first overtime, but the teams battled to a 52-52 tie at the end of the first extra period.
North Bullitt opened up the second OT with a three pointer, but Spencer County’s Smith answered with a driving lay-in. However, a series of turnovers and miscues spelled doom for the Bears, as North Bullitt took advantage and built a six point lead with just a minute left, and they secured the win at the free-throw line.
Burns would have liked to have seen his team finish the Eagles off when they got them down in the third quarter.
“Our inexperience has shown many times this season,” he said. “I thought it was pretty evident against North Bullitt. We just do not have that killer instinct developed yet.”
He also credited North Bullitt for defensive adjustments on Fitts late in the game that held the senior scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Spencer County will open up 30th District Tournament play this Wednesday when they play the Rockets at Shelby County at 7:45. The Bears finished up their regular season with a 8-19 record.