Bryant White defense frustrates Wampus Cats in eighth grade game

CONWAY — For the final 8:31 of the first half and a six-minute chunk of the 12-minute second half, the Bryant White Hornets eighth grade team of Bryant Middle School held the Conway Blue Wampus Cats scoreless. And with eight of the 15 players that got into the game contributing to the scoring on offense, the Hornets left Buzz Bolding Arena on Thursday night with a 38-17 victory.

O.J. Newburn finished with 19 of the Hornets’ points. Catrell Wallace added 7. Keyshawn Scott hit a 3-pointer in the third quarter while Daniel Washington, Ahmad Adams, Tre’Vun Herron and Darius Kirkwood scored 2 each. Darreck Rose sank a free throw.

The Hornets out-rebounded the Cats, 29-24 while forcing 19 turnovers and committing just 12.

Conway Blue’s last lead of the game was 4-3 with baskets on either side of a 3 from Newburn. Jenkins fed Wallace for a basket with 2:05 left in the first quarter that put the Hornets ahead for good.

After a Conway turnover, Wallace added a free throw. Later, Newburn drove for a bucket and Rose followed up with a steal. He fed Wallace for a basket to make it 10-4 at the end of the opening period.

The Hornets then outscored the Cats 8-0 in the second quarter. Wallace made a steal that led to a pair of free throws for Newburn. After another Conway turnover, Newburn drained a pull-up jumper then forced a held ball that got the ball back for Bryant White.

Herron hit a running floater then Daniel Washington made a steal and, though he was unable to convert the front end of a one-and-one, Wallace made a steal and Washington, who led his team with seven rebounds, followed his miss with a stickback that made it 18-4 at the half.

Scott knocked down his trey to open the second half, extending the advantage to 17 points before Conway broke the drought with a free throw. That started a 7-0 surge by the Cats who cut the lead to 21-13 before Newburn canned a driving jay with :05.7 showing, setting the margin at 10 going into the fourth quarter.

Wallace opened the final period with a steal then followed his own miss to push the margin to 12.

Before Conway Blue could score again, Newburn scorched the nets for 8 points including a pair of 3’s. Adams scored and, off a steal, Rose capped the run with a free throw making it 36-13.

Conway’s last scratch was four free throws over two trips to the line. But Chandler Stewart counted with a baseline drive with :41 to go that set the final score.

The Hornets will play again on Monday, Feb. 1, at home against Bryant Blue. They play at Lake Hamilton on Tuesday before completing their season at home against Russellville on Thursday, Feb. 4.

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