One thing that can be said about the Sylvan Hills Lady Bears is that they are getting better as the season goes along. That’s what coach Shelly Davis sees even if they are having a tough time getting on the topside of a final score lately.

The Lady Bears suffered a 5A-Central opening 46-40 loss to the McClellan Lady Lions on Tuesday.

Guard Ashton Neasley scored a team high 16 points including four from beyond the three-point arc.

"We had our chances," Davis said, "but a couple turnovers late hurt us."

A throw away out of bounds and a bad pass kept the Lady Bears from stealing their league opener. Sylvan Hills had as much as a six-point lead, but neither enjoyed a comfortable lead.

Davis said what she saw on Tuesday was true progress.

"We are coming together," Davis said. "Our attitudes are better, and we are playing better."

McClellan appeared to get into the head of the Lady Bears, but a quick timeout by Davis allowed her to get her players settled in for a close conference battle.

"McClellan had a noisy student section," Davis said, "and we just didn’t handle playing on the road well early on. I called timeout and they settled down."

The tests continue for Sylvan Hills. This week they open their home league schedule against the Mills Lady Comets.

The Lady Comets along with North Pulaski have been affected by numbers, and have had to bring their freshman class up to varsity level.

With all the Lady Bears have gone through this season with attrition, the stability of a steady 5A-Central schedule should help with the learning curve, and keep the Lady Bears on the road to maturity.