by Michael D. Gunnell
Southwest Sports Information
The Bears basketball team opened their season with a bang Friday night, defeating the outmanned Royal Ambassador Prep Lions 123-67 to give Bryan Bender his first win as a head coach.
The Bears led the Lions 65-32 at the end of the first half.
With all players on their roster seeing action and getting on the scoreboard, the Bears shot 70% from the field and 64% from the free throw line.
The Bears were led in scoring by Aitticus Taylor's 22 points and Avery Diggs' 21. Robert Kendrick added 13 points and Robert "Bob" Boyd scored 12. Lincoln Smith netted 11 points while Jay Malone had 10.
The Bears hit 18 of 28 free throws.
Kentari Taylor and Monterious Whitlock both had 14 points for the Lions. The Lions made 20 of 29 free throws.
After the game, Bender said "It was great to get our guys on the floor and play against someone else besides ourselves. We've been waiting a long time to compete on our home court in front of our home fans."
Bender also said it was good for the new players on the team to pick up their first experience on the college level and have everyone pick up points.
Speaking of picking up his first win as head coach, Bender said it was "A humbling experience to get my first win as a head coach. I've been working really hard for a long time to try and have this opportunity and I'm grateful that (Southwest president) Dr. Steve Bishop and (Athletic Director) Bill Wallace gave me the opportunity to lead this program."
The Bears return to the court on November 7 when they travel to Mobile, AL, to face the Spring Hill College Badgers JV squad. Tipoff is set for 7:00.