By Amanda Perkins
Willow Springs, Mo. — The Willow Springs Bears added another game to the win column Tuesday night as they hosted the Houston Tigers, winning 61-48.
Willow head coach Ryan Bunch acknowledged that while the game wasn’t necessarily pretty, it still counted as a win.
“In the end, we did what we needed to do to win the game,” he said.
The third quarter was the difference-maker in the contest, with the Bears outscoring the Tigers 22-5.
“They picked up their defensive intensity in the third quarter,” said Coach Bunch of his team.
Willow led the entire first half, jumping out to a 16-7 lead after one quarter of play, but allowed the Tigers to outscore them in the second quarter to reduce their lead at the half to 7.
The Bears stretched their lead to 25 in the fourth, but finished with a thirteen-point victory.
Head coach Rod Gorman has been working to rebuild Houston’s embattled basketball program, and he recognized development in his team as they fought against the Bears.
“I thought Willow played good tonight to start both halves,” he said, “and that really propelled them in the game for a huge advantage. I thought our balance tonight was really good. It is progress for us. Tonight was a positive night for us. We haven’t been playing as well and I thought we played better.”
Coach Bunch credited Houston’s tough play and Gorman’s leadership.
“They played two or three freshmen, and he has those kids believing in themselves and believing they can win basketball games,” said Bunch of Gorman.
“He’s done a nice job with those guys. I thought they played hard and played a pretty good basketball game. We weren’t able to turn them over early, and they did a good job handling our press. If we can create turnovers we can score points, and we weren’t able to do that tonight.”
The Bears hope the win gives them momentum as they prepare to take on MV-BT/Liberty Friday night. Their record is now 8-13, while the Tigers drop to 5-16 and next travel to Salem.
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Scoring for Willow Springs: Sam Chaney, 14, Ethan Graves, 9, Kobe Coatney, 8, Ty Durnell, 6, Michael Cawvey, 5, Ryan Tompkins, 5, Ben Wake, 5, Bryce Duddridge, 4, Landon Rodgers, 2, Ryan Cawvey, 2, Trey Talbert, 1.
Scoring for Houston: Lucas Kelley, 17, Kyler Ramsey, 9, Riley Caveyess, 6, Cameron Root, 6, Ty McCloud, 5, Paydon Dixon, 2, Clayton Moore, 2, Taylor Ward, 1.