CABOT — Chase Christie hit a free throw with 5.8 seconds left to play to provide the winning margin for the Bryant Blue Hornets of Bethel Middle School in their season opener Thursday.
The Hornets defeated Cabot South’s eighth grade boys, 36-35.
The Bryant Blue Lady Hornets of Bethel Middle School traveled to Cabot South to play their first game of the season. The eighth grade team is coming off a 14-1 season but missing two starters from last year’s team so they we weren't really sure what to expect.
Cabot South got the win with a 30-15 victory but the Lady Hornets found that they still have a lot of potential for success.
Arkansas Finest, a seventh-grade boys basketball team featuring four players from Bryant recently won the Hoopfest USA State Championship in Hot Springs. Team members include, front from left, Justice Bryant of England, Hunter Holder of Bryant, Larry Stephens of Little Rock Christian, Trenton Deloach of Little Rock Episcopal and Caleb Strain of Bryant; back row, coach James Scoggins of Bryant, Luke Vincent of Benton, Blake Bowlin of Benton, Mitch Scoggins of Bryant, Samonte Wallace of Benton and Brian Reed of Bryant.
Bryant Lady Hornets junior Alana Morris earned all-State honors for the 2008-09 high school basketball season, it was announced Monday, March 30.
The Lady Hornets, who ended a three-year absence from the Class 7A State Tournament by finishing tied for second place in the 7A-Central Conference, also had all-conference honors go to seniors Anna Simpson and Taylor Hughes, along with junior Hannah Goshien.
In addition, Simpson was named to the all-State Tournament team.
And for the second year in a row, senior Tim Floyd was named all-conference for the Hornets.
RUSSELLVILLE — Former Bryant Lady Hornets' star Amanda Grappe has been named the Arkansas Player of the Year in the Gulf South Conference by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. She has also been named to the 2008-09 Daktronics Women's Basketball All-South Region Team. See: http://www.gulfsouthconference.org/news.asp?action=form&recordID=355751&sport=WOMEN'S%20BASKETBALL
The senior forward averaged 19 points and 8.1 rebounds a game for the Arkansas Tech Golden Sun and earlier this week was named one of five finalists from Region 5 for the 10-member WBCA Division II State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team. The 41 finalists were voted on by WBCA member coaches in each of the WBCA’s eight award regions.
“What a nice honor for Amanda Grappe,” Tech Women’s Basketball Coach Dave Wilbers said. “She had an outstanding season for our basketball team and had an outstanding career as a Golden Sun. She is truly one of the all-time greats that have played in this tradition-rich program.”
Grappe was named this year’s GSC West Division Player of the Year and was also named a three-time All-GSC West Division selection. She finished her Tech career as the program’s 10th all-time leading scorer (1,738 points) and the program’s fourth all-time leading rebounder (791 boards). In addition, she recorded 27 double-digit scoring games this season and had a team-best nine double-doubles and was named the GSC West Division Player of the Week three times. In her career, she had 94 career double-digit scoring efforts, 20 double-doubles and 29 games of scoring 20 or more points, including five career 30-plus point games.
Joining Grappe as Region 5 finalists are Delta State sophomore guard Sarita ‘Bug’ Cooper, West Georgia senior guard Dominic Cranford, the GSC East Division Player of the Year, West Georgia senior forward Ashley Huff and Nova Southeastern junior center Stephanie Sarosi.
By outscoring their opponents 672-298, an average score of 37-16, the Bryant Middle School eighth grade Lady Hornets basketball team ran through their 18-game 2008-09 season undefeated and, almost unchallenged.
The team, coached by DeAnna Ward with assistance from Angel Dale, included McKenzie Adams, Rochelle Aguillar, Lauren Buck, Amanda Butler, Lauren Coggins, Skylar Combs, Courtney Davidson, Logan Davis, Haley Everett, Shelby Gartrell, Jackie Hill, Sarah McPherson, Whitney Meyer, Kiara Moore, Hannah Raney, Hannah Rice, McKenzie Rice, Kristen Scarlett and Ashley Williams with managers Spencer Byars, Krissia Meeler and Shaunte Lee.
“This is the most talented group of girls that I have coached,” Ward stated. “If they keep working hard, I predict that they will be State Champs in four years.”
By Rob Patrick
FORT SMITH — Yes, the Bryant Lady Hornets had the higher seed and a much better record but the Springdale Har-Ber Lady Wildcats had something valuable that the Lady Hornets did not:
State tournament experience.
The Lady Wildcats were making their third consecutive trip to State, meaning all four of their seniors and all eight of their juniors had been there and done that.
It was a first for every Lady Hornet.
And, as most coaches will tell you, it's one thing to get there, another to stay there.
Har-Ber, using a zone defense to frustrate Bryant's leading scorer Alana Morris then a box-and-one in the second half to shut down hot-handed Hannah Goshien, brought a bittersweet and premature end to the Lady Hornets' turnabout season, 61-52. The first round game was played Wednesday, March 4, at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith's Stubblefield Center.
By Rob Patrick
When asked what they thought it was going to be like to run out onto the floor at the Class 7A State Tournament at the Stubblefield Center at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith this Wednesday afternoon, the reaction was the same.
Both Taylor Hughes and Anna Simpson grinned.
You see, it’s been a long time coming for the duo, the only seniors on the Lady Hornets team this year. It’s something they’ve never done before.
“It’s going to be kind of cool,” Hughes said.
“I think it’s going to be a little scary,” Simpson replied. “It’s going to be so exciting. We have no idea. The last time I even went to a State game, I was like in eighth grade and my sister (Sydney) was a sophomore. I don’t know, just the whole atmosphere’s going to be — it’s going to be great just to know that you’re in there with the best. You’re not one of the teams stuck at home. You made it.”
And, indeed, this year they have made it.
The Lady Hornets, 19-6, will play the Springdale Har-Ber Lady Wildcats in Fort Smith at 4 p.m., on Wedesday, March 4. They are not only the No. 3 seed from the 7A-Central Conference, but they were in contention for a league championship all year and, actually finished in a tie for second.
All that after the team didn’t win a single conference game a season ago and, two years ago, when Hughes and Simpson were sophomores, winning just three league contest.
All of which makes this trip even sweeter.
By Kirk Stewart
The third through sixth grade basketball tournament was slated to end on Saturday, but double-elimination tournaments are never easy to predict. The tournament spilled over into Monday resulting in some down-to-the-wire action and some quality basketball.
Monday night’s early game was a 3rd/4th grade girls’ division matchup that pitted Team Rowland against Team Hill. Team Rowland wrapped up their season defeating Team Hill. Team Rowland had previously upset Team Hill's bid for an undefeated season on Saturday sending them on to the final elimination game on Monday night, and then handed Team Hill their second loss to take the tournament title.
Monday night’s second final was a rematch of the 5th/6th grade boys division Team Price and Team Hurt. The two squared off on Saturday where Team Price suffered its first defeat of the season losing to Team Hurt by a score of 51-50. Team Price switched strategy away from offense to a more defensive scheme playing mostly man-to-man against Team Hurt's high scoring offense. And that adjustment proved to be the winning move. Team Price won the game 40-33 and took the tournament championship. Team Price ended the season with a record of 15 wins versus 1 loss.
By Kirk Stewart
Thursday night, Feb. 26, was the most exciting night yet of the third through sixth grade city league basketball tournament.
The night got off to a roaring start as Team Sandidge fought from behind to defeat Team Sanders 25-24 in the third/fourth grade boys division. It was Team Sander’s second loss, eliminating them from the tournament.
The other third/fourth grade boys game had another comeback bid. Team Pringle fought from behind all night trying to catch up to Team Dupree. But, in the end it fell just short with Team Dupree advancing with a score of 28-22, ending Team Pringle’s tournament.