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The Spencer County Bears scrapped their way to respectability last Friday facing a much older and much bigger Australian team before falling 60-49. While the loss dropped the Bears to 4-13 on the year, the solid performance came on the heels of a 53-51 win over Eminence and a 58-56 loss to North Bullitt.
On Friday, the Bears looked a little mismatched in the early going, falling behind 6-0 to the Australian team, but a three pointer by Trey Wyatt and a rebound and follow by Logan Dunbar kept it close early.
However, the Wolves’ size and their good outside shooting quickly resulted in their building a 19-5 lead and it looked as though the Bears might get blown out. Brian Thacker managed the only other basket for the Bears in the quarter, as they trailed 23-7 after one period.
In the second quarter, Dunbar converted an old-fashioned three point play. Then later another three-pointer pulled the Bears to within 27-13. Then sophomore Stetson Baird drained a three, Wyatt laid-in a bucket and a Dunbar free-throw edged the Bears even closer as the half near an end.
The Wolves would add a bucket in the final minute but the half closed with another three-pointer by Baird and the Bears narrowed the gap to 30-22.
The third quarter proved to be a roller coaster, as the Bears opened up with two buckets by Dunbar to edge within 30-26, before the Australian team ripped off seven straight points to widen their lead to 11. But Spencer County’s young squad would not quit. Wyatt got another lay-in, Dunbar drove the lane for a bucket and Wyatt pulled up for a short jumper – all in less than a minute’s time, and the Bears were back in it at 38-32. In the final two minutes of the quarter, Dunbar would hit a bucket and another free throw to make it 38-35 before an Australian bucket pushed it back to a five point margin. However, Wyatt drilled a three pointer two seconds before the buzzer, and the Bears were just down 40-38.
The Wolves then used their height inside to open their lead, going into the paint three straight trips for baskets as they went up 46-38 to open the quarter.
Brian Thacker hit a couple of short jumpers to keep it close, but the Bears couldn’t match the power game inside and the Australian team pulled ahead by as many as 14, eventually holding on for the 60-49 win.
For the game, Dunbar finished with 18 points while Wyatt had 14. Baird and Brian Thacker each finished with six points and Johnny Thacker added five.
The loss didn’t completely overshadow the Bears’s first home victory a few nights before however, when they managed a 53-51 victory over Eminence.
“Beating a team twice in a row can always be tough, especially with a team as young as we are.” said Barmore, whose Bears had beated Eminence just a couple of weeks before in a holiday tournament.
Barmore said the plan against Eminence was to key on one player who torched the Bears in the earlier game. He credited sophomore Stetson Baird for keeping that shooter in check, but said the danger then becomes having another player fill the gap, which is exactly what happened. But the heroics of one visiting player, who hit six three-pointers in the final quarter, couldn’t keep the Bears from notching their first homecourt win of the season.
The Bears were scheduled to be at home Tuesday for a matchup with Larue County, followed by a short road trip to rival Bullitt East on Thursday and then a boys/girls doubleheader at Louisville Brown on Saturday.