The Bryant White Hornets eighth grade team of Bryant Middle School rode a 12-1 run to start the second quarter to gain the upper hand on the North Little Rock Gold Charging Wildcats Thursday night then put together a game-breaking 16-0 blitz in the second half on the way to a 44-32 win.
The Hornets improved to 6-1 on the season, avenging their lone loss, a 43-40 setback at North Little Rock on Nov. 14.
Bryant White is set to host Lighthouse Charter on Monday, Dec. 5 before hosting a showdown with Bryant Blue on Thursday, Dec. 8.
Cameron Hunter led the Hornets with 14 points against North Little Rock Gold. Myles Aldridge finished with 10 while Austin Ledbetter and Gavin Brunson each finished with 6. Brunson and Aldridge yanked down eight rebounds apiece. Hunter had 6 boards.
Trey Miller added 5 points, Aiden Adams 2 and Connor Coleman 1.
“After the way we lost to them the first time the boys were very upset,” said Hornets coach John Harrison. “We worked hard this week on playing good sound man-to-man defense and not allow their guards’ dribble-drives inside the lane. We did a great job and come away with a big win.
“Cameron played an outstanding game,” he added. “He controlled the tempo and got inside the lane whenever he wanted to. Austin did a great job guarding their best player and Aiden also did well defending him. Trey knocked down two big shots. Gavin and Myles dominated the glass and Connor did a great job of being physical inside.”
The Hornets opened the game with an 8-3 surge. They trailed 3-2 when Hunter hit a driving jumper and Adams scored and was fouled on a fastbreak. Though he missed the free throw, another North Little Rock turnover led to a layup for Ledbetter to cap the run.
North Little Rock rallied to take a 9-8 lead before Brunson hit a free throw after grabbing an offensive rebound, tying it going into the second quarter.
The Wildcats missed the opening shot of the second quarter and Hunter grabbed the rebound on the run and got it ahead to Ledbetter for a layup as the second Bryant barrage developed. Coleman hit his free throw and, after Brunson snatched the carom off another Cats’ miss, Hunter was fouled. He cashed in as the Hornets were already in the bonus at the 4:43 mark.
Miller gave them a lift by drilling a 3 and, after a steal by Ledbetter, drained an 18-footer as the margin reached 10, at 19-9.
After their timeout, the Wildcats regained their footing and trailed 23-16 at the half. Brunson provided a couple of baskets for Bryant, one a layup off a feed from Hunter and the other off the offensive glass.
Midway through the third quarter, the lead was down to 25-22. But from the 3:10 mark, North Little Rock didn’t score again until the 4:35 mark of the fourth quarter as Bryant went on its decisive run to build a 41-22 advantage.
The surge began with two free throws by Hunter. Aldridge scored on a stickback as he was fouled and Hunter followed up with a pair of free throws as he attacked the basket.
With 1:12 left in the third quarter, Brunson was fouled and one of the North Little Rock players was hit with a technical. Brunson converted one of his free throws then Hunter tacked on two from the stripe for the tech. On the subsequent possession, Aldridge scored after grabbing an offensive board and was fouled. He completed the three-point play. A North Little Rock turnover and another stickback by Aldridge made it 37-22 going into the fourth quarter.
A basket off the glass by Brunson and a pull-up jumper by Hunter extended the run at the start of the fourth.
North Little rock rallied down the stretch and, at one point late in the game, cut the margin to 10 but got no closer.