Watson Chapel did everything right. Except win.

Watson Chapel did everything right. Except win.

The Wildcats dropped a 53-43 decision to Sylvan Hills Tuesday in front of a near-capacity home crowd. But it wasn’t due to lack of effort. And it wasn’t due to lack of holding last year’s Mr. Basketball in Arkansas to below his season average.

Archie Goodwin scored 24 points, four below his season average, and Larry Ziegler added 10 as the Bears improved to 15-5 overall and 6-0 in 5A-Southeast Conference play with the victory, a win Sylvan Hills coach Kevin Davis said he was happy to get out of town with.

“Anytime you are on the road in the conference playing in their conditions you take any win and you leave with a smile on your face,” Davis said. “That’s how much respect we have for Watson Chapel. They never stopped battling.”

Watson Chapel (10-9, 3-3) struggled from the floor for most of the night, shooting at a 35 percent clip in the first half. The Wildcats scored only four points in the first quarter and trailed 9-4 before the teams exchanged 16-point performances in the second frame.

Sylvan Hills came out the halftime break on a 12-0 run, extending its lead to 37-20 before the Wildcats could stop the bleeding. Watson Chapel managed only three points in the third period and couldn’t close the gap to more than nine for the remainder of the game.

“The first and third quarter hurt us,” said Watson Chapel coach Matt Busch. “But they did a good job defensively early. They played man but they packed it in so tight we had trouble getting to the basket. They are very long. I felt like we had the momentum going into halftime but we never got it back until 48 seconds left in the game and then we turned the ball over.

The Bears posted an 0-for-16 performance from long range. But turnovers and poor shooting prevented the Wildcats from making a solid run.

“If you would have told me before the game we would hold Archie to 24 points and they would only score 53 points, I would have thought we had a darn good chance to win,” Busch added.

And Goodwin was solid, even after having to change jerseys due to the blood rule. He wore No. 21 instead of his normal 10.

“This was my first time (to wear a different number),” Goodwin said with a laugh. “It was different but I liked it. It didn’t change anything. I could play with a bra on and it wouldn’t make a difference to me.”

Javione Bailey led Watson Chapel with 16 points while Quenton Dockett added nine off the bench.

Watson Chapel 50, Sylvan Hills 17

In the girls game, Watson Chapel jumped out to a 10-2 first quarter lead and never looked back as the Lady Wildcats improved to 11-8 overall and 5-1 in the conference.

Jasmine Bell led all scorers with 14 points.

Sylvan Hills dropped to 5-12 and 3-3.