By Rob Patrick
The only thing that could’ve made the evening even more of a success for the Bryant Blue Hornets, the Bethel Middle School eighth grade team, would’ve been for Daniel Castleberry to get into the end zone.
Castleberry, along with Amador Gaspar, is a defensive lineman who turns fullback in the Hornets’ “two-ton” short-yardage formation. Usually, they’re helping to clear the way for running back Bryce Denker. But, as Bryant Blue finished the 2009 season against their rivals from Benton on Tuesday night, Castleberry got a chance to carry the football. It came after the Hornets had extended their second-half lead to 22-0. On the two-point conversion attempt, Castlebery took the handoff from quarterback Dakota Besancon.
He was stopped just short of the end zone.
The Bryant Lady Hornets freshman volleyball team surged into sole possession of first place in the South Division of the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference with a 2-1 victory over the rival Benton Junior Lady Panthers on Monday, Sept. 28.
The win came on the heels of a 2-0 sweep of Sheridan in league play on Thursday.
The Lady Hornets have won four league games in a row and improved to 8-2 versus division foes, 11-3 overall. The win over Benton avenged one of their conference losses. The two teams came into Monday’s game tied for the Division lead.
McKenzie Rice finished the match with six kills she also got the Lady Hornets in position to win the first game by serving points 9 through 12. Courtney Davidson served points 15-17. She also contributed three blocks and four assists on the night.
After the loss in game two, the third game was a tussle when the Lady Hornets got a lift off the bench from Sarah McPherson who served for points 10 through 13 to give Bryant the upper hand. Then Alyssa Anderson helped put the game and match away by serving for points 18 through 24.
LITTLE ROCK — Led by top performances from Sammil Watson, Brett Clemons, Kody Perlson, Kyle Hampton and Kendrick Farr, a group of 40 Bryant Hornets athletes took top honors at a simulated scouting combine at D-1 Sports Training competing against a group of Benton Panthers on Saturday, April 18.
The Bryant team ranking was in the 84th percentile, according the head football coach Paul Calley. Benton's group ranking was 52.
Both squads received a donation for their efforts. Bryant, by winning, garnered a $1,000 check. Benton received $500.
The athletes competed in 10, 20 and 40 yard sprints; vertical jump; standing broad jump; L-drill; Pro-Ag Drill; and bench press reps.
Spring football practice commences for the Hornets on Monday, May 11 and conclude Friday, May 22.
LITTLE ROCK — The Bryant-Benton football rivalry expands into a new area of competition on Saturday with the Bryant vs. Benton Combine to be held at D1 Sports Training of Little Rock.
Athletes from each team will compete in six events with the top 20 scores going toward the final results. The winning team will receive a $1,000 contribution, the runner-up will receive a $500 contribution. A traveling trophy will also be awarded.
Events will include 10/20/40 yard sprints; Pro Agility; L-Drill; Vertical; Standing Long Jump; and body weight.
Wet grounds and the threat of more rain have forced the postponement of the Bryant-Benton baseball game to be played this evening at Panthers Field. According to Hornets head coach Kirk Bock, an attempt to reschedule the game will be made. The Hornets are scheduled to host Little Rock J.A. Fair on Saturday at 1 p.m., with a junior varsity game following the varsity contest, again weather permintting.
Bryant returns to 7A-Central Conference action on Tuesday, March 31, when they host North Little Rock in a first-place showdown starting at 5 p.m.
The Bryant Hornets game against the Catholic Rockets for third place at the Mike Hendricks Memorial Benton Panther Invitational Tournament was snowed out.
The game was called as the teams were about to warm up (or try) in the midst of blowing snow which intensified after the end of the championship game in which Sheridan defeated Benton 13-11.
As it turned out, due to a wave of sickness through the Catholic team, the Rockets JV was set to play the game anyway.
The Hornets and Rockets play a 7A-Central Conference game at Lamar Porter Field this Thursday, March 5, after the Hornets open league play at home against Little Rock Central on Tuesday, March 3.
BENTON — Though it felt like it could've snowed, there was none at Tyndall Park on Thursday, Feb. 19, except that big old snowball that started rolling over the Bryant Lady Hornets softball team in the third inning.
It kept getting bigger and bigger and the rival Benton Lady Panthers took advantage, turning a tight 1-0 game into a 7-0 lead in
the opening game of the season for both teams.
Benton wound up with a 7-1 win.
The third inning began with an error allowing Bailey Levart to reach base. A force out followed as Laikin Davis reached but then another error on a ball hit by Kyliegh Bennett and a passed ball produced a run. The snowball started picking up momentum with a walk to Tara Nalley, hit by Katie Nichols, an outfield error on a ball hit by Emily Chastain, another walk to Tiffani Pledger and a second hit, a single by Kara Franklin.
Hardluck starting pitcher Christen Kirchner gave way to freshman Peyton Jenkins who was welcomed to high school softball with a double by Katelyn Eubanks on her third pitch completing the scoring.
By Rob Patrick
After back-to-back losses to the two teams ahead of them in the South Division standings in the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference, the Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team finished off the regular-season on a winning note. Bryant surged in the second half to dismiss the rival Benton Lady Panthers, 45-23, to head into the league's post-season tournament at Greenbrier on a winning note.
The Lady Hornets will take a 17-6 overall record into the tourney which begins Saturday, Feb. 14. They finish 10-4 in the South Division.
Bryant outscored the Lady Panthers 24-7 in the second half, shutting them out in the final period.
Benton had opened the game with a 10-2 run, led by Brooke Million and Mallory Carver. But when Breanna Blundell grabbed the carom off a teammate's miss and scored with :04 left in the period for the Lady Hornets, it sparked a 15-3 blitz that put them ahead to stay
"Once again, it was those nerves at the start of a game," noted Bryant coach Eric Andrews. "We got some open shots, we just couldn't make anything even from point-blank range. But the girls settled in and we got our press going a little bit, got them to turn the ball over some. We were able to get some easy baskets and once we got those, the other baskets started coming."
By Rob Patrick
One would think that, if a basketball team converted 80 percent of its field goal attempts, it would be nearly impossible to beat. In fact, it would be difficult for the team's opponent to even be close.
But there were the Bryant Junior Hornets, having hit 16 of their 20 field goal attempts, tied with the rival Benton Junior Panthers, 37-37, with :12.5 left in the final regular-season game for both teams on Monday, Feb. 9.
It was fitting in a way because it was the third meeting between the two and each had beaten the other once.
But how was Benton tied with the Hornets under those circumstances?
Credit the 3. Nine of the Panthers' 13 made field goals in the game were 3-pointers, 27 of the 37 points. The last of those, a bomb by point guard Nathan Griffin had evened the contest with 1:20 to go. Bryant spread the floor and worked the clock down to :12.5 and head coach Steve Wilson took a timeout to set up what he hoped would be either a game-winning shot or overtime.
When play resumed, Bryant point guard Brantley Cozart got a step on Griffin just beyond the 3-point arc, drove into the lane, pulled up as the defense converged and knocked down a 10-foot jumper with :06 to play. Benton rushed the ball up the floor but Jordan Griffin's long 3 was just short and the Hornets had a hard-earned 39-37 victory.
By Rob Patrick
BENTON — No matter what the competition, whenever teams from Bryant and Benton engage each other it’s going to be intense.
In fact, it’s easy for a team to get overly stoked. Intense turns into tense.So, more often than not, it’s the team that keeps cool and relaxed that performs best and wins.
And, on Monday, Jan. 12, that proved to be the Benton Junior Panthers despite the manic intensity and histrionics of their head coach David Torres.
The Panthers calmly put together a 17-2 run that included four 3-pointers and an old-fashioned three-point play over a five-minute span in the first quarter to take control of the game on the way to a 51-39 victory, avenging a 41-37 loss at Bryant earlier in the season.
The two teams will meet again in Bryant to wrap up the regular season on Feb. 9.