By: Jessie Eubanks
After a great season and another Conference title, the Bears entered the District Tournament hoping to make their way into Sectionals. They started the tournament playing the Cabool Bulldogs on February 28th. After beating the Bulldogs 56-43 back in January, the Bears were confident in their ability to advance to the next round, but the Bulldogs played with a vengeance. The Bears ended the first half behind, 16-24. They picked up the pace in the 3rd quarter, taking the lead, 42-32. The Bears held their lead throughout the 4th, beating the Bulldogs 53-40. Ben Loge, Austin Gastineau, Kevin Philpott, and Zach Leonard each had a 12-point game.
After their win against Cabool, the Bears advanced to round two of the District Tournament. The Bears competed against the Licking Wildcats on March 1st. They ended the 1st quarter with a close score of 9-10. The 2nd half was up for grabs as both teams headed to the locker room with a tied score of 21-21. Although the score was still close, the Bears took the lead in the 3rd and won the game, 57-45.
On March 3rd, the Bears competed in the District Championship game against the Liberty Eagles. Although the Bears beat the Eagles back in February, they knew this was the game that would make or break their season. Taking the lead early, they ended the 1st quarter 15-7. Both teams played hard throughout the rest of the first half, going into the second 27-25. The Bears remained ahead through the 3rd quarter, but fell at the end, losing to the Eagles 54-63. Gastineau and Leonard were both high scorers, Gastineau with 20 and Leonard with 17 points.
Although the Bears did not make it to Sectionals, they had an overall great season. This season they earned their second conference title in three years, made it to the final round of Districts, and ended the year with a record of 18-10.