Leader Blues

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

SPORTS>>Sylvan Hills goes cold in second half, falls to Mills

By CHAD MATCHETT
Special to The Leader

Sylvan Hills had problems once the jumpers stopped falling Friday night at home against the Mills Comets.

Sylvan Hills fell 54-43 to the Comets to drop to 7-10 overall and 2-3 in the 5A-Southeast.

The Bears find themselves in a tie for fifth with Crossett, two games behind co-leaders McClellan and North Pulaski and a game back of Beebe and Mills.

Nick Zimmerman, Kolby Davis and Harold Ward each drained a pair three-pointers in the game. But those shots weren’t there when the Bears needed them in the fourth quarter. Part of the problem was that the Bears became a little gun-shy at times in the game.

“We need to be more decisive, more aggressive when teams are giving us open shots,” Sylvan Hills coach Kevin Davis said. “There were times when Nick or Harold would catch a pass, then look to make the next pass before looking back for the shot. That gave the Comets time to get back and challenge the shots.”

Sylvan Hills had a solid first quarter and led 14-8. The second quarter didn’t go so well as the Comets outscored the Bears 13-4 to take a 21-18 lead at halftime.

The Comets had a chance to really extend their lead early in the third quarter, but missed eight consecutive free throws.

“Free throws are something that have really hurt us this year,” Mills coach Leo Olberts said. “Just about every game we’ve lost has come down to free throws.”

One basket among all those missed freebies gave the Comets a 23-18 lead midway through the third.

Ward missed a chance at a three-point play when he was called for charging. He made up for that soon after with a rare four-point play gave the Bears a one-point lead late in the quarter. The Comets went into the fourth quarter leading 31-29 after a buzzer-beating tip in by Kyle Jackson.

Mills started pounding the ball inside in the fourth quarter with forward Chris Neal scoring eight of his 10 points in the quarter. The Comets went on a 10-2 run to gain a little breathing room.

“We really wanted to get the ball inside more in the second half,” Olberts said. “Neal had a big half for us. He did a good job posting up.”

Kolby Davis pulled the Bears to within six points, but free throws down the stretch by Nick Harsberry, Chris Hampton and Montez Peterson put the game away for the Comets. Harsberry led the Comets with 14 points, including a perfect 8 of 8 night from the line. The Comets scored 19 points off free throws, while the Bears were 5 of 5 from the line.

Sylvan Hills was still without it’s top two post players in P.J. Ross and Taylor Beeman.

“We’re still a little gimpy inside and that hurts,” Davis said. “Mills always does such a good job of getting in the lane and attacking the basket.”

Ross (6-2) and Beeman (6-5), are expected to return this week. Ross played sparingly against the Comets, making a pair of free throws. Ross is averaging close to 20 points per game this season.

Ward led the Bears with 11 points. Zimmerman and Davis each scored eight in the loss.