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Taylorsville ends Bears season

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / West Lincoln's Sam Bivens powers in the low post for an easy basket against Taylorsville Tuesday night in Jack Case Gymnasium.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / West Lincoln’s Sam Bivens powers in the low post for an easy basket against Taylorsville Tuesday night in Jack Case Gymnasium.

The West Lincoln Bears saw their basketball season come to an abrupt end Tuesday night as the Taylorsville Tartars escaped Jack Case Gymnasium with a 52-49 win in the first round of the MHSAA South State 2A tournament.

The Bears conclude their season with 24-6 record. Tartars (18-8) advance to the quarterfinals, which will be held at Bay Springs on Thursday.

Taylorsville 52, West Lincoln 49 

The West Lincoln Bears came out strong and quickly jumped on the Tartars in the opening quarter as they grabbed a 6-0 lead in the first minute of action, before Taylorsville scored their first basket with five minutes left as they controlled the first quarter with a 1-11 lead.

In the second quarter, Taylorsville started to find their rhythm on offense and outscored West Lincoln 16-12 as the Bears managed to hold on to a slim 28-27 halftime advantage.

In the third quarter, the Tartars turned up the heat on defense and smothered the Bears’ high-octane offense to claim a 41-37 lead after three quarters of action.

In final quarter of action, both teams continued to fight hard as West Lincoln managed to stay close in the contest and threatened on several attempts to reclaim the lead, but Taylorsville withstood the offensive punch by the Bears to escape with the win.

Junior guard Duane Marshall was the offensive leader for the Bears with 18 points and 4 rebounds. Senior center Sam Bivens captured his last double-double for the Bears with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Keshaun London chipped in with 12 points.

“We did not play very well offensively,” said West Lincoln coach Lane Young. Taylorsville played really well defensively. Overall, I am very please with my guys performance. They have worked hard this season. We have a great group of kids here – on and off the court. I’d like to thank the fans for their great support and involvement in their community.”

James Keyes was the top shooter for the Tartars with a game-high 19 points. Anfernee Sullivan powered Taylorsville in the low post with a double-double performance of 17 points and 15 rebounds.

“Both teams played extremely hard tonight,” said Taylorsville coach Jeremiah Keyes. “West Lincoln has a very good team and they are well coached. We knew coming in that we had to be tough on defense to slow down West Lincoln’s offense. Overall, I was very pleased with my guys’ effort.”