After opening setback, freshman boys win twice at Hale Invitational

PEARCY — The Bryant Hornets freshman team got back into the groove following a break for Christmas by winning two of three games at the annual Kameron Hale Invitational Tournament at Lake Hamilton High School, finishing with a 58-25 romp over the Centerpoint Knights on Friday.

The Hornets, now 8-5 overall, are 5-1 in the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference. They resume league play on Tuesday at home against Cabot South.

Bryant knocked off the rust from their break on Wednesday in a clash with a strong Hot Springs team. After a tough first half, they improved in the second half but could not overcome the deficit in a 49-30 loss.

On Thursday, however, they rolled past the Mena Bobcats, 44-23, to set up the consolation final against Centerpoint.

“We had a frustrating performance in the first half of the Hot Springs game,” acknowledged Hornets coach Tyler Posey. “But the guys responded very well after that.”

In the win over Centerpoint, the Hornets blew the game up in the second quarter, turning their 14-10 edge after a quarter into a 34-20 advantage. It was 47-25 going into the fourth quarter. The Knights were unable to score in the fourth quarter as both coaches worked in their reserves.

Marqelle Barnes was named the player of the game. He finished with 11 points. Keith Merriweather Jr., added 9 points including 7 during the second-quarter spurt. Ethan Hilkert finished with 7, Catrell Wallace 6. In all, 11 different players contributed to the scoring.

Thirteen players got in on the scoring against Mena. Kayleb West, Daniel Washington and Wallace each had 6 points. O.J. Newburn scored 5 with Merriweather and Colby Washington adding 4 each.

Merriweather was named the player of the game.

The Hornets led 10-5 by the end of the first quarter then put together a run in the second that increased the margin to 25-9. It was 35-17 going into the fourth quarter.

Against Hot Springs, the Hornets were just ice cold in the first half. The Trojans held an 8-2 lead by the end of the first quarter and expanded the margin to 23-5 by halftime. The two teams played evenly the second half.

Barnes finished with 10 points. Newburn and Wallace added 6 each and Merriweather had 4. Colby Washington and Darrick Rose pitched in with a bucket apiece.

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