The learning experiment for the Sylvan Hills Lady Bears continued Tuesday night in a 69-37 loss to the Pulaski Academy Lady Bruins.

Problems with grades and discipline have decimated the Lady Bears’ roster and forced coach Shelley Davis to bring up and play several freshmen.

The young Bears facing experienced, good-shooting teams like the Lady Bruins may produce the occasional lop-sided score, but that doesn’t worry Davis.

"We’re trying to get the girls to not even pay attention to the scoreboard at this point," said Davis. "This experience is helping them grow and get better. They need to just concentrate on working on the things they need to work on during the game."

Sylvan Hills trailed Pulaski Academy 15-8 after the first quarter, but that ballooned to 38-16 by halftime.

Sarah Beckwith and Ashton Neasley led the Lady Bears with 11 points apiece. Maddison Shelton scored nine points, Allysia Marbley scored three, while Aljahnay Duncan added two and Courtney Boutte one.

While this has turned into a long season for Sylvan Hills, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The freshmen and eighth grade teams are very solid, and Davis is ready to welcome back the dismissed players next season.

"I don’t believe in just scarring these girls and denying them what they love," said Davis. "But they’ve got some things to figure out, some growing to do. Maybe they’ll get it and will come back and help the team. I’ve had that happen before where a player came back her senior year and was just perfect."