BENTON — The good news for the Bryant Blue Hornets eighth grade team of Bethel Middle School was the return of Diante Woodson from a knee injury as they start to get some of their sidelined players back in the lineup. The bad news was the Benton Panthers eighth grade team deployed a withering full-court press and came away with a 34-20 win.
Woodson hit 9 points to lead the Hornets. Luke Curtis had 7, Keith West 3 and Matthew Sandidge 1 but the Panthers jumped out to a 16-4 lead in the first quarter and Bethel was unable to dig out of the hole.
It was 18-6 at the half, 27-11 going into the fourth quarter.
“Benton was bigger, deeper, and better than us,” stated Bethel coach Derek McGrew. “Their full-court pressure really hurt us. We had 29 turnovers.”
The coach noted the play of Woodson and added, “I thought Luke Curtis played very had and had a good game.”
The Hornets will return to action on Monday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m., against Lighthouse Charter in the first round of the Wildcat Shootout at Little Rock Episcopal Collegiate.