Bears win own tourney
LA VERNIA -- During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, the La Vernia Bear varsity basketball team hosted a tournament, and kept the title at home by beating all four teams they faced.
La Vernia began tournament play with Somerset, and the Bears earned a 41-32 win over the Bulldogs.
La Vernia began with an 11-6 lead after the first eight-minute session, and stretched it to a 20-13 advantage at the break. The Bulldogs continued to fall further behind in the third period, as La Vernia outscored Somerset 10-7 to take a 30-20 lead into the fourth. When the final buzzer sounded, it was La Vernia moving on with a 41-32 win.
Schulenburg was next up for La Vernia, and the Bears played their closest game of the tournament against the Shorthorns. In the end, though, it was La Vernia with a 34-32 win.
The Bears jumped out to a solid 12-4 advantage in the first period of play, but the Shorthorns came back strong in the second, outscoring La Vernia 8-3, and narrowing the Bears’ lead to just 3 points at 15-12 for halftime. The gap remained the same in the third, as the teams moved into the final period of play separated by just 3 points. The Bears persisted, though, and secured the win.
The Badgers of Karnes City were next for La Vernia, and the Bears played a solid game at both ends of the floor to lock up a 32-21 win.
The low-scoring affair began with a 6-2 advantage after one period of play for La Vernia, and the teams went into halftime with the score at 14-8 in favor of the Bears. La Vernia held Karnes City to just 3 points in the third stanza, while putting up 8 of their own. The Bears took a 22-11 lead into the fourth, and then celebrated a 32-21 win as the final buzzer sounded.
Their trio of wins put the Bears into the championship game with the Nixon-Smiley Mustangs. The Bears were certain to be challenged, but it appeared clear this was their tournament to win or lose.
The teams took to the floor and the first eight minutes ended in a tie at 8-8. The Bears cranked up the heat in the second session, though, and exploded for a 12-4 run and a 20-12 halftime advantage.
La Vernia came out of the locker room ready to play in the third, and once again outscored Nixon-Smiley to increase its lead to 10 points. The pressure continued into the fourth period, and the Bears once again outscored the Mustangs, and solidified their 37-25 win for the championship.