FORREST CITY — Hot shooting from distance to start the game allowed the Bryant Hornets build a double-digit lead that they maintained throughout the game on the way to a 65-50 victory over the Kenwood Knights of Clarksville, Tenn., in the consolation finals of the annual Rumble on the Ridge Saturday.
Treylon Payne scored 18 points with a game-high seven rebounds and was named to the all-tournament team. Camren Hunter and A.J. Jenkins added 13 points apiece. Hunter had six assists.
“Obviously, the goal was to come in here and complete for the big trophy but when we didn’t win on Thursday, I challenged them,” said Hornets head coach Mike Abrahamson. “The next best thing we can do is come out with two wins. But, more importantly, how are we going to go about it. Because we can think about the end result all we want, if we don’t focus on the process of getting there, we won’t get there.”
The Hornets opened the tourney on Thursday with an 84-73 loss to Tri-Cities, Ga., but came back Friday with a 66-46 win over iSchool Virtual Academy of Lewisville, Texas.
“We have certain goals that we want to meet in the game, and we didn’t meet any of them Thursday,” the coach said. “And that tells the story of why we got that result. Yesterday, we met two and that kind of tells the story of that result. Today, I haven’t looked yet but hopefully we got some.
“That tells the story of how we’re playing and how we got to where we are at the end of the game,” he continued. “I’m really proud of them because I really challenged them. Every challenge I threw at them, they accepted. They embraced it.
“They were a very coachable group this weekend,” Abrahamson asserted. “To end with eight (players) — we only have 10 but we have one with mono then we had to send one home sick yesterday — three days in a row against good competition, I’m pleased with what we did this weekend. We’ve got to use that as good experience to make us better for what’s to come.”
Bryant connected on 5 of 7 shots from 3-point range in the first quarter and hit 7 of 10 shots from the field altogether to build a 24-11 lead. Payne had two of the 3’s and 8 points. Aidan Adams, A.J. Jenkins and Khasen Robinson each added 3’s.
The game was tied at 5 when Payne was fouled and converted twice at the line. Kenwood’s Jaylen Washington missed a 3-point try and, at the other end, Payne knocked one down from distance. Kenwood’s Kevin McIntosh couldn’t get a triple to go but Jenkins drained one from the left corner to put the Hornets ahead 13-5.
Two free throws by Kenwood’s Scooter Williams interrupted what would be a 14-2 run. The Hornets got it going again with a short jumper from Gavin Brunson off a feed from Jenkins. Hunter added a free throw then Robinson’s 3 made it 19-7.
Before the quarter was over, Payne hit his second 3 and, with :00.4 on the clock, O.J. Newburn connected on a pair of free throws to make it a 13-point game.
Williams hit a driving jumper to start the scoring in the second quarter, but Payne answered with a 15-footer and, after a turnover by the Knights, Jenkins drove to the rack, scored and was fouled. Though he missed the free throw, Adams took a charge, which eventually led to a layup by Payne off a feed from Hunter.
Hunter followed with a steal and Payne followed his miss to make it 32-13. Kenwood called timeout and, when play resumed, Washington was fouled on a 3-pointer, ending the Knights’ drought with three free throws.
But a baseline drive by Hunter and a driving layup from Jenkins extended the margin to 20, 36-16 going into the final minute of the half.
It was 40-20 at the break as Jenkins canned a 14-footer at the buzzer.
Williams hit the offensive boards for a three-point play to start the second half, but Adams pumped in a triple in response.
Kenwood cut the lead to 18 before Landon Newburn scored from close range and Hunter hit a free throw to make it 50-29, the Hornets’ largest lead of the game.
The Knights cut it to 50-36 before Hunter fed Payne for a layup as the Hornets broke the press at the end of the period.
The teams traded baskets for much of the fourth quarter but when Williams and Washington hit consecutive baskets with just over a minute left, the Knights had trimmed the margin to 59-46. After a timeout, Jenkins was fouled and converted twice. Moments later, Hunter fed Payne for a layup and it was 61-46 going into the final minute.
The Hornets, now 3-1, will take on Hot Springs next Saturday in an ESPN Showcase.
HORNETS 65, KNIGHTS 50
Score by quarters
Kenwood 11 9 16 14 — 50
BRYANT 24 16 12 13 — 65
KNIGHTS (2-2) 50
Washington 7-14 3-4 17, Ke.McIntosh 1-6 0-0 3, Williams 8-9 5-7 22, Richardson 0-1 0-0 0, Kramer 1-2 0-0 2, Brooks 0-3 0-0 0, Conyers 1-1 0-0 2, Ka.McIntosh 0-2 0-0 0, Barnes 1-2 0-0 2, Whitehead 1-2 0-0 2. Totals20-42 (48%) 8-11 (73%) 50.
HORNETS (3-1) 65
Hunter 5-8 3-8 13, Payne 7-8 2-2 18, Jenkins 4-9 4-5 13, Adams 2-5 0-0 6, Brunson 3-4 0-0 6, L.Newburn 1-1 0-0 2, Robinson 2-4 0-0 5, O.Newburn 0-2 2-2 2. Totals 24-41 (59%) 11-17 (65%) 65.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 6-14 (Adams 2-4, Payne 2-3, Robinson 1-3, Jenkins 1-1, O.Newburn 0-2, Hunter 0-1), Kenwood 2-11 (Ke.McIntosh 1-2, Williams 1-2, Washington 0-3, Brooks 0-2, Ka.McIntosh 0-2). Turnovers: Bryant 9, Kenwood 15. Rebounds: Bryant 4-16 20 (Payne 1-6 7, Jenkins 0-3 3, L.Newburn 0-3 3, Hunter 0-1 1, Brunson 0-1, Robinson 0-1, team 3-1 4), Kenwood 8-15 23 (Richardson 0-4 4, Ke.McIntosh 1-2 3, Barnes 1-2 3, Washington 2-0 2, Brooks 0-2 2, Conyers 0-2 2, team 2-2 4). Team fouls: Bryant 11, Kenwood 16. Fouled out: Kenwood, Brooks. Technical foul: Kenwood, Barnes.