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The Spencer County Bears completed a 2-2 swing throught the Lloyd Memorial Invitational Tournament last week but felt it should have been better.
After an opening-round 81-64 loss to a very quick Covington Holmes squad, the Bears bounced back to win a thrilling 48-47 contest over Bishop Brossart.
The Bears then squared off against Cooper High School and dropped a heartbreaker of a game, 51-50.
In that game, the Bears led most of the way, but lost on a tip-in at the buzzer.
Spencer County actually held substantial leads in the first, third and fourth quarters of the game with Cooper, including an eight-point advantage midway throught the final period, but were unable to hold the lead and unable to ice the game at the free throw line when it had the opportunity.
“We have had a hard time putting teams away when we get out to a six- or eight-point lead,” said Barmore, who said a few things have contributed to those close games — an inability to hit free throws, surrendering too many offensive rebounds and making too many unforced turnovers.
Despite the heartbreak of such a close-game defeat, the Bears came back on the fourth day of the tournament and captured a 59-57 win over Newport.
Barmore was pleased overall with the 2-2 finish, even though he knew it could have been better.
“I am pleased with the way the guys handled the adversity of playing against some really good competition.”
He said it would have been easy for the team to be dejected after the opening loss to Holmes, but they played three very close games following that one.
“We kept fighting all four days,” he said.
Going against a tough field like they did in the tournament is a learning experience and Barmore said the Holmes game taught his Bears that they must improve against quicker teams, especially defensively.
Their ability to compete also served as a confidence boost to a team that figures to be a contender for the 8th Region crown.
“Our boys do feel they can play with any team on any night,” Barmore said.
The Bears, who are now 10-3 on the season, will be home for the next two weeks, starting with a scheduled game last night against Eminence.
On Thursday night, the Bears will host Collegiate and on Friday they will welcome a very good Campbell County team to Taylorsville.