Houston Tigers coach Tom Brown said the pressure of Senior Night affected the way his team played.
The Tigers were held to their second-lowest point total of the season Friday night in a 61-39 loss to Ava inside Hiett Gymnasium.
The team’s large senior class — consisting of Curry Van Horn, Jacob Hall, Clay Ashworth, Kodey Campbell, Marcus Beezley, Rodney Preheim, Jacob Kelley and Colton Huff — was recognized before the game. Brown said the festivities may have hurt his team.
“It’s tough to play on Senior Night,” he said. “The kids put too much pressure on themselves.”
Van Horn hit a pair of 3-pointers en route to a team-high 15 points. Preheim scored 10.
Austin Gastineau led three Ava players in double figured with a game-high 20 points. Kevin Philpott scored 14 and Ben Loge added 12.
The victory completed Ava’s perfect record in conference play. The Bears (16-9) went 7-0 as they ran the table en route to the South Central Association championship.
Houston finished 1-6 in SCA play. The Tigers’ lone victory was a 59-53 victory Feb. 3 at Mountain Grove.
Ava began pulling away early. Trailing 4-2, the Bears scored nine unanswered points and led 11-4 on Loge’s reverse layup.
The advantage was 17-8 at the end of the first quarter and grew to double figures as Ava scored the first nine points of the second quarter.
The Bears’ lead was 31-14 following Gastineau’s 3-pointer midway through the second quarter.
On Tuesday, Seymour outscored the Tigers 23-15 in the third quarter en route to a 63-51 victory.
The game was tied 24-all at the half.
Van Horn scored 11 points as the lone player in double figures. Preheim added nine.
Houston has lost five consecutive contests going into today’s (Thursday) regular-season finale at Stoutland. The game is varsity only.
JUNIOR VARSITY: Devin Garrett scored 11 points and Tanner Cantrell added 10 in the JV Tigers’ 53-50 loss Friday to Ava.
Houston trailed 31-17 at the half before pulling within striking distance with a 33-22 advantage in the final two quarters.
HOUSTON (51) — Aaron Cantrell 4. Devin Coulter 8. Jacob Hall 4. Colten Huff 2. Jacob Kelley 5. Rodney Preheim 9. Curry Van Horn 11. Weston Walker 8.
SEYMOUR (63) — McCoy Boring 1. C.J. Fercho 13. Jordan Humbyrd 22. Tyler Lee 10. Austin Rippee 6. Chad Sturdefant 11.
AVA (61) — Cooper Emerich 2. Chase Dixon 1. Ben Loge 12. Austin Gastineau 20. Tyler Cox 2. Kevin Philpott 14. Dexter Fish 2. Zach Leonard 8. FG 23. FT 11-20. F 11. (3-pointers: Gastineau 2, Loge, Philpott. Fouled out: none).
HOUSTON (39) — Curry Van Horn 15. Devin Coulter 7. Colten Huff 2. Rodney Preheim 10. Jacob Kelley 5. FG 16. FT 5-11. F 14. (3-pointers: Van Horn 2. Fouled out: none).
HOUSTON (50) — Ryan Bowlin 2. Gabe Pruett 6. Devin Garrett 11. Jason Wink 8. Tanner Cantrell 10. Tyler Best 9. Kolby Walker 4. FG 22. FT 5-13. F 13. (3-pointers: Wink. Fouled out: none).