Photos by Kevin Nagle
The Maumelle Hornets freshman team hit just enough shots from the outside to keep the Bryant Hornets out on them defensively. That enabled them to drive and attack the hoop, and their quickness proved difficult to handle as they forged a 52-41 win in the first round of the Bryant Invitational Tournament on Monday at Bryant Middle School gym.
Bryant, 0-2, and still trying to jell after getting the whole team together after the football season, is set to take on Pulaski Academy today at 5:45 p.m., in the consolation bracket.
Maumelle had four players score, all in double digits led by Patrick Greene’s 18 which included a pair of 3-pointers in the first half that keyed the strategy.
Tristan Calhoun led Bryant with 14 points. Brooks Ellis had 12 and Luke Curtis 9. Calhoun also had seven rebounds, Curtis 6.
“I thought we played a much improved game than our first,” said Bryant coach Tyler Posey, referencing a 40-31 opening loss at Watson Chapel last Thursday. “Offensively, we really did a much better job of moving the basketball and attacking gaps. Also, we found our inside game a lot better.
“Defense is the key to our success,” he noted. “We have to do a much job on the defensive end of the floor in order to get over the hump and win a ballgame. Overall it was a good step forward and one we can build on going forward.”
Jake Forst scored the first two Bryant buckets and the game was tied 4-4. But Greene hit his first 3 and Maumelle was ahead for the rest of the half.
Bryant kept it close. Curtis scored off the offensive glass and after Ty Robinson drove for a layup off a Bryant turnover, JonLuke Sprout knocked down a pair of free throws to make it 9-8 at the end of the first quarter.
But Maumelle scored the first 6 points of the second period as Bryant struggled to cut off their drives. In fact, Bryant was only able to set up one charge in the game, that by Sprout in the second half during a stretch in which the Maumelle lead was whittled from 11 to 5, as close as it would get in the fourth quarter.
Posey got a timeout after the second-quarter burst and, when play resumed, Calhoun fed Ellis in the post for a basket then followed up with an offensive-rebound basket.
But Greene canned his second 3 to offset the Bryant momentum. A pair of missed free throws by Maumelle’s Darius Lawrence gave Bryant an opening and Calhoun and Ellis led a rally.
Calhoun hit two free throws to cut the lead to 18-14. Byron Wade countered with two on the other end. But Sam Chumley fed Ellis and, after Prince Williams missed two free throws for Maumelle, Calhoun hit a driving jumper to cut it to 20-18.
Greene drove for a basket but Calhoun dished to Ellis for a bucket in the final minute to make it 22-20 at the half.
To open the third quarter, Bryant pulled even on another Ellis bucket inside with Chumley getting another assist. In turn, Maumelle missed but Lawrence stuck back to carom.
Bryant suffered one of its 16 turnovers and Wade bumped the lead to 4. A three-point play by Robinson after Bryant had missed two free throws was followed by two free throws by Lawrence and a drive by Wade as the lead ballooned to 33-22.
It was 35-26 going into the fourth quarter and 39-28 when Bryant began its best push of the second half. Calhoun assisted on a basket by Curtis then Sprout took the charge, which led to a pair of free throws for Calhoun at the other end to make it 39-32.
Lawrence interrupted the run but then Curtis came through with a three-point play to trim it to 41-35.
After a Bryant timeout, the teams exchanged turnovers. Robinson hit a free throw but when Curtis answered inside, it was 42-37.
Maumelle closed with flurry, however. Bryant missed a chance to close the gap at the free throw line and it was 46-37 before Ellis’ basket ended a drought of nearly two minutes, making it a 7-point game with 1:45 left.
But Bryant didn’t score again until the final seconds on a drive by Calhoun after a 6-0 spurt by Maumelle that put the game away.
MAUMELLE 52, BRYANT 41
Score by quarters
Maumelle 9 13 11 17 — 52
BRYANT 8 12 6 15 — 41
Robinson 3-7 4-5 10, Wade 5-13 2-2 12, Lawrence 5-8 2-5 12, Greene 8-11 0-2 18, Williams 0-1 0-2 0, T.Curtis 0-3 0-1 0, Norman 0-0 0-0 0, Galvan 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 21-45 8-19 52.
Chumley 0-6 0-0 0, Calhoun 4-14 6-6 14, Sprout 0-3 2-2 2, Forst 2-2 0-0 4, Ellis 6-8 0-4 12, L.Curtis 4-7 1-1 9, Sandidge 0-2 0-0 0, Polite 0-0 0-0 0, Shirlee 0-0 0-0 0, Moody 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-42 9-13 41.
Three-point field goals: Maumelle 2-8 (Greene 2-4, Wade 0-3, Robinson 0-1), Bryant 0-8 (Calhoun 0-4, Chumley 0-2, Sprout 0-1, L.Curtis 0-1). Rebounds: Maumelle 9-15 24 (Lawrence 6, Robinson 4, Williams 4, Wade 3, Greene 3, T.Curtis 2, team 2), Bryant 12-20 32 (Calhoun 5-2 7, L.Curtis 2-4 6, Ellis 1-4 5, Chumley 0-4 4, Sprout 1-1 2, Forst 1-0 1, Shirlee 1-0 1, Moody 0-1 1, team 1-4 5). Turnovers: Maumelle 4, Bryant 16. Team fouls: Maumelle 16, Bryant 13.