Sylvan Hills coach Kevin Davis had to rely on a few of his cubs on his bench on Tuesday in the Bears’ season opener at Vilonia, and they almost came through. But the Eagles found a way to send Sylvan Hills home with a 63-62 overtime loss to open the season.

Even though the first game was a loss, there was no negativity from Davis.

Ronnie Hinton led the Bears with 23 points but left the game with a minute left after he hit his head trying to block a shot. That forced Davis to use three players that have yet to log minutes in varsity action. Besides Hinton, the Bears have three players either nursing injuries or getting acclimated from football and didn’t dress on Tuesday.

"We played well," Davis said. "We only dressed nine kids, and they made some sophomore mistakes, but I expected that. They almost pulled out a win."

It was the first action that the Bears had seen against real competition after last Tuesday’s Blue-White scrimmage.

Davis said it wasn’t too early to call Tuesday’s game that his team could look back on as an important learning experience going into the season.

"I thought that immediately after the game was over," Davis said. "It was a great game. Grab your popcorn, your candy because you got to see a great basketball game in the first one of the year."

The Bears’ next two games, both at home, promise to be good ones as well as they host Beebe next Tuesday and Watson Chapel a week from Friday night.