Big second half lifts Bryant past Texas team at tourney

FORREST CITY — After trailing by 2 at the half, the Bryant Hornets exploded to produce a 20-point victory over the iSchool Virtual Academy from Lewisville, Texas, in the consolation bracket of the Rumble on the Ridge tournament at Forrest City High School on Friday.

Camren Hunter and Treylon Payne each scored 19 points to lead the Hornets. A.J. Jenkins had 14.

“The first half went back and forth,” acknowledged Bryant head coach Mike Abrahamson. “We got ourselves in a little bit of foul trouble again.”

ISchool had a 6’11” post player that, the coach said, “just draws a lot of attention. With us not having a lot of size right now, we had to pay a lot of attention to him or he’d just get layups.

“He did not score a ton, especially around the basket,” Abrahamson continued. “He actually ended up hitting a 3 and I think another jump shot.”

So, the Bryant coach changed tactics in the second half with his team trailing 29-27.

“For a big part of the half, we just went with five guards,” he related. “That posed a match-up problem for them because the post couldn’t just camp out in the lane and take space. So, they ended up taking him out to match with us. But what ended up happening is that played into our hands even more.”

The Hornets picked up the defensive pressure on iSchool’s five guards and began to create a lot of turnovers.

“We had a really good second half,” Abrahamson allowed. “Our defense really picked up. The guys played really well in the second half. We got to the free-throw line a lot.”

Bryant was 19 of 24 at the line, some of that late when iSchool was trying to catch up. In contract, iSchool was 6 of 12 at the stripe.

The Hornets held the Texas team to just 6 points in the third quarter.

Bryant was set to wrap up play in the tourney on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., against a team from Kenwood High School in Clarksville, Tenn.

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