Bryant White eighth grade boys hold off repeated Blue charges for victory

By Rob Patrick

The unbeaten Bryant White Hornets eighth grade team of Bryant Middle School jumped out to a 11-2 lead and, though they battled back to tie and repeatedly whittled on the lead, the Bryant Blue Hornets eighth grade team of Bethel Middle School could never grab the lead. The White team held on for a 37-30 win at the Bethel gym, handing Blue its first loss of the season after a 6-0 start.

Mitch Scoggins led all scorers with 15 points for White, now 5-0. Chase Christie scored 13 and collected 15 rebounds to pace Blue.[more]

“I was happy with the effort, but there were times that we didn't play smart,” commented Bryant White coach Heath Long. “Bethel really pressured us with their full court man-to-man, and we didn't always make good decisions. However, our offensive execution improved tremendously in the second half when we finally were patient and worked the basketball.”

Blue coach Derek McGrew said, “I knew the game would be a battle. Bryant (White) has a fine ball club. I was pleased with the crowd and atmosphere.

“We had trouble matching up with their size,” he added. “I was happy with our effort and hustle. We definitely shot the ball poorly but I give Bryant a lot of credit for their defense. I would like to congratulate them on the win. We look forward to playing them again on Feb.1.”

For White, Hunter Holder and Greyson Giles each added 7 points. Jordan Jones scored 4 points and collected a team-high nine rebounds. Caleb Strain and Cedarrian Crosby pitched in with 2 points each.

For Blue, Trevor Ezell scored 7 points, Garrett Phillips 5, Bryce Denker 3 and Davis Nossaman 2.

Christie’s 15-footer had Blue up 2-1 early but when Holder hit a layup off a steal with 4:31 left in the first period, White took the lead. Giles fed Scoggins for a basket then layups by Holder and Scoggins made it 9-2. Crosby capped the run with an offensive-rebound bucket.

Reed’s drive got Blue back on track, making it 11-4 going into the second quarter. Christie blocked a shot to give his team a chance to get closer before the break but White forced a turnover.

But the Blue Hornets put together a flurry of turnovers and points to start the second period. Phillips drained a 3-pointer then Ezell made consecutive steals, cashing in the second one with a layup. Nossaman swiped the ball and fed Christie for a layup and suddenly the game was tied 11-11.

Scoggins snapped the tie with a pair of free throws and, after a Blue miss, he rebounded and got the ball ahead to Strain for a layup as White took the lead for good.

Nossaman’s driving hoop made it 15-13 and it stayed that way for a while. Two minutes passed before Scoggins made a nice post move to drive for a layup.

White led 18-15 at the half.

Scoggins fed Giles for a layup to start the third quarter and, later, Giles made a steal that led to a layup for Jones to make it 22-15 but then Christie went on a spree. He followed his own miss to start Blue’s second-half scoring and, after a bucket by Holder, drilled a 3. At the other end, he blocked a shot by Giles then raced to the other end for a layup that had his team within 24-22 with 3:00 left in the period.

A bucket inside by Jones stemmed the tide but, after a Blue miss, Christie blocked another shot which led to a layup by Phillips. And when Ezell was fouled with 1:01 left, Blue had a chance to pull even again. Ezell, however, was only able to get one of his free throws to fall, trimming the margin to 26-25.

And when Giles drove for a hoop for White, his team led by 3 going into the final period.

Blue had two chances to answer but suffered turnovers on each trip before Scoggins added to the lead on an inbounds play.

Denker hit a free throw with 5:19 left but Scoggins hit two from the line moments later.

After another Blue turnover, Denker gave his team another chance by taking a charge on a Giles drive. But Blue was unable to take advantage.

Giles got to the line with 2:54 left but couldn’t get either shot to fall so when Ezell was fouled with 2:42 left, his two tosses trimmed the margin to 32-28. Scoggins and Ezell traded baskets then Blue forced a turnover and earned a trip to the line. Nossaman, however, couldn’t get the front end of the bonus opportunity to go in.

McGrew thought his team had forced another turnover with 1:14 left but Long had called a timeout just before the ball went out of bounds. When play resumed, White spread the floor and Giles scored off a nice give-and-go with Scoggins. Holder made a steal and hit a free throw with :39.3 showing, completing the scoring in the game.

Bryant White is set to return to action at Sheridan on Saturday. The next outing for Bryant Blue will be Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Bryant Middle School gym against Lake Hamilton.

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