Bryant White nips Bryant Blue to earn spot in Classic final

LITTLE ROCK — A fourth-quarter surge by the Bryant White Hornets of Bryant Middle School made the[more] difference it a taut battle with the Bryant Blue Hornets of Bethel Middle School in eighth grade action Tuesday night.

Bryant White clinched a spot in the championship game of the Anthony School Classic with the 42-36 win. They’ll play Arkansas Baptist for the title on Thursday night at 7:30.

Romen Martin scored all 13 of his points in the second half to spark Bryant White. Jake East finished with 11 points.

Bryant Blue was paced by Desmond Duckworth’s 19 points. Caylin Allen and Phillip Isom-Green added 6 each and Calvin Allen 5.

“I was happy with the way our guys hung in there in the first half before Romen got going,” said Bryant White coach Heath Long. “Jake made a couple of big shots in the first half to keep the score close.”

Bryant Blue led at the end of the first quarter, 10-9. A 3-pointer from the backcourt by Tyler Kelly of Bryant White closed what was a larger lead for Bryant Blue.

“That stole back some momentum for us,” Long mentioned.

Bryant White led 19-17 at the half then 29-28 going into the fourth quarter.

“It was a very good game,” stated Bryant Blue coach Derek McGrew. “We did a very good job of blocking out and played with great intensity. I am very proud of them. Bryant (White) has a lot of size. We have no one over 5’8”.”

“We showed some mental toughness when we got behind a little in the second half and managed to come back and win,” Long said.

“They made more plays in the fourth quarter than we did,” McGrew said. “I look forward to playing them again. There was a lot of talent on the floor. This group should do very well when they combine next year (on the Bryant freshman team).”

“And we look forward to two more hard-fought games with (Bryant Blue) this year,” Long added.

The teams will play at Bryant Middle School on Dec. 17 then at Bethel Middle School on Jan. 22, 2013.

Up next for Bryant Blue will be a trip to Lake Hamilton on Monday, Nov. 26.

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