Bryant Blue hold off late charge by Bryant White in eighth grade battle

The Bryant Blue Hornets eighth grade team of Bethel Middle School edged the rival Bryant White Hornets of Bryant Middle School, 33-31, at the Bryant Middle School gym on Monday night.

Bryant White won the eighth grade B game, 27-15 while the Blue teams won both seventh grade contests. In the A game, it was a 36-13 final. In the B game, it was 17-8.

In the eighth grade A game, White broke out to an 8-4 lead by the end of the first quarter but the Blue team surged in the second to build a 20-14 advantage that increased to 26-14 by the end of the third quarter. White rallied but couldn’t regain the advantage.[more]

“It was a big win for these boys,” stated Blue coach Derek McGrew. “Bryant (White) is obviously a rival game but it is a friendly one. The crowd was great and vocal.”

Said White coach Heath Long, “We had a lapse in the second quarter defensively that allowed them to get ahead and we were a little too tentative offensively. I have to give credit to Bethel (Blue) because they had a lot to do with that. They are a good team and really showed it tonight.

“I was pleased with how our kids fought back,” Long added. “We were never able to get over the top though.”

“Defense won the game for us,” McGrew said. “I thought the boys followed the game plan well. I cannot say enough how proud I am of this team this year. This eighth grade class as a whole should represent Bryant well in the future.”

Blue was paced by Trevor Ezell’s 11 points. Brynce Denker and Chase Christie added 8 each. Davis Nossaman had 4 and Dakota Besancon 2.

For White, Greyson Giles finished with 9 and Jordan Jones 8.

Earlier in the season, Bryant White had defeated Bryant Blue. 

In the eighth grade B game, Bryant White was led by Darian Jarrett with 6 points. C.J. Phillips and Chris Troillett each added 5. Slade Lewis paced Bryant Blue with 6. Phillip Barnett pitched in with 4, Caleb Hixon 3 and Evan Davis 2.

The seventh grade A game featured a 9-4 start for Bryant Blue. Again, the second quarter was big as the Blue Hornets pushed the margin to 21-9 by haltfime. They led 29-11 going into the final period.

Jason Hastings led Blue with 13 points. John Winn added 10, Brandon Warner 7, Mark Winn 5, and Ryan Hall 1.

For White, J.C. Newborn and Hunter Oglesby each had 4 points.

“Hastings and Warner combined to hit five 3-pointers against their zone,” McGrew noted. “We played very sound defensively. This team is very businesslike. They just go out and work. The team did a good job of getting the ball inside to John Winn.”

“We played Bethel (Blue) 20 points closer this time,” mentioned Long. “And it shows how hard our kids have been working. They showed us some very intense pressure and, for the most part, we handled it well.”

In the seventh grade B game, Bryant Blue picked up 5 points from Tre Davis. Paul Tierney had 3. Zach McConnell, Alex Denker, Andrew Kincaid and Austin Green pitched in with 2 each. Dylan Wolf hit a free throw.

For White, Brett Fisher led with 4 points.

“We probably did our best job of the year with our execution,” Long mentioned. “I was happy with the effort.”

The Bryant White eighth grade boys are schedule to return to action on Thursday, Feb. 4, at home against Cabot South. The Blue seventh grade teams travel to Conway to play Bob Courtway Middle School that night then they go to a jamboree in Cabot on Saturday. The Blue eighth grade boys play at a jamboree in Benton on Saturday. The Bryant White seventh grade team returns to action in a season-ending trip to play Ridge Road in North Little Rock on Feb. 11.

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