A 10-0 run at the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth keyed a 32-28 win for the Bryant Blue Hornets of Bethel Middle School over Pulaski Academy’s eighth grade team on Thursday night.
It was the first game since[more] Dec. 13 for the Hornets.
“It sure showed,” stated coach Derek McGrew.
The team includes Jake Acord, Austin Green, Ryan Hall, Jason Hastings, Brushawn Hunter, Andrew Kincaid, Blaine Knight, Brian Tackett, Paul Tierney, Brandon Warner, John Winn, Mark Winn, Dylan Wolfe and Brendan Young.
“I was glad to get the win,” McGrew said. “PA got in a zone and we struggled shooting. We were 7 of 22 at the free-throw line.”
In fact, the Hornets were unable to score in the first quarter. Thanks to their own stingy defense, the Hornets only trailed 6-0 when the second period began.
“We played very hard and did a great job on defense,” McGrew noted. “As a coach, all you can ask for is effort and we got that, which led to the victory.”
John Winn led the scoring for Bryant with 12 points. Hastings and Warner added 6 each, Hunter and Hall 4 apiece.
The Hornets started the second quarter with a 10-0 run that gave them the lead. The Bruins answered with a 9-3 surge that concluded with the first basket of the second half, which had them up 15-13.
Warner canned a 3 then the game was tied at 16 and 18 before the Bruins gained a 21-18 edge.
In the final minute of the quarter, however, John Winn hit a baseline jumper and, with :09 showing, Hastings knocked down a triple to give Bryant a 23-21 lead going into the final period.
They would not relinquish the lead the rest of the way.
Warner’s 3 with 5:18 left, extended the margin. Hall made a steal that led to a free throw by John Winn that made it 27-21.
Hastings blocked a shot, grabbed the deflection and was fouled with 4:08 left. His free throw gave Bryant its largest lead at 28-21.
The Bruins ended their dry spell with a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 5 but they could get no closer until a basket with :28 left set the final score.
Now 9-5, the Hornets return to action on Saturday, Jan. 15, at home against Little Rock Christian.