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The Spencer County Bears suffered a lopsided loss at home to North Oldham last Tuesday night but rebounded over the weekend as they took two out of three games in the St. Francis Tournament in Louisville to pick up their first wins of the season and collect some much needed confidence.
The Bears welcomed the Mustangs last Tuesday and actually stayed close through the first quarter, but some good three-point shooting and a noticeable size advantage allowed the visitors to take a comfortable lead at halftime.
They would build on that lead in the second half and the Bears suffered their worst loss of year, 88-54. While the Bears were outmatched, they also hurt themselves again with too many turnovers.
Coach Jacob Barmore said it is hard to watch his squad give up so many possessions to the opponent but says he has to keep their youth in perspective.
“This is a totally different team this year,” said Barmore. At times it is definitely frustrating, but at the end of the day I do remember that they are very young and I try and look for the small improvements.”
Those improvements manifested themselves into victory over the weekend, starting with a 57-52 win over Kentucky Country Day on Friday night in the St. Francis Tournament. They followed that performance with a nail-biting 51-50 loss to Louisville Collegiate Saturday morning but bounced back to take third place with a 48-43 win over St. Francis.
Barmore said the weekend competition came at a good time for his young squad.
“The tournament was tremendously beneficial for us. This tournament was full of 1A and 2A schools and it was nice for the kids to see what they can do against schools our size. It was a nice confidence builder as we go into the rest of the schedule.”
Just two weeks into the season, Barmore is seeing some good things even if the scoreboard doesn’t always show success.
“I think we are definitely learning to trust each other on the floor. That is probably biggest improvement,” he said.
“We are still very raw on defense. There are times when I’m not sure if we can guard a fencepost.” However, no matter how far the Bears might fall behind, Barmore said he’s impressed with his team’s “never quit attitude.”
“A great team cannot win without that, so if we can develop that now, it makes the future look pretty bright.”
The Bears were to be back in action Tuesday night when the hosted North Bullitt, a team Spencer County has topped the last three times they’ve played. They then will play a four-day tournament at Gallatin County beginning Saturday. Barmore said the competition will be tougher than this past weekend, but a surprise could be in store.
“This tournament is full of really good teams and will be a huge test for us. I can’t wait for us to beat someone that we aren’t supposed to beat,” he said, adding that the players are working really hard and their goal is to upset some good teams.
Later next week, they’ll get more opportunities as they play in the Nelson County tournament after Christmas, a tournament the Bears won last year.
“These tournaments can be great conditioning and experience coming down the home stretch into post season play,” said Barmore.