Photos by Kevin Nagle
Tristan Calhoun capped off a 23-point night with a basket with :01.8 showing on the clock that snapped a 42-42 tie and gave the Bryant Hornets freshman team its third straight victory.
The Hornets, who scored just 12 points in the first half and trailed by as much as 7, exploded for a 32-point second half to pull out the 44-42 victory over the Cabot South Panthers at Bryant Middle School gym Thursday night.
The game had been tied at 38 and 40. The Hornets trailed 38-32 with 3:45 to play. Malcolm Moody hit a 15-footer to start a Bryant rally. An offensive rebound bucket by Luke Curtis cut it to 2.
At the other end, Cabot South’s Noah Allgood missed and a held ball occurred on the rebound between Curtis and Drew Greibel. The whistle blew but Greibel yanked the ball away from Curtis and sent him to the floor. A technical foul was assessed and Calhoun went to the line and tied it up.
Later, Allgood scored to put his team up 40-38 with 1:54 left only to have Bryant’s Brooks Ellis knocked down a jump hook with his off hand to square once more.
It stayed that way until, with :39 showing, Ellis gave the Hornets the lead with a pair of free throws.
After a timeout, Cabot South got the ball to Landon Vaught who hit a pull-up jumper with :21.7 showing, evening it at 42.
Bryant coach Tyler Posey called a timeout with :20 on the clock and the Hornets worked the ball looking for an open look against the Panthers’ zone. The clock dwindled to less than 10 seconds and, with no clear shot apparent, Posey called another timeout with :04.8 to go, setting up the game-winning bucket.
Inbounding from the side, Sam Chumley got the ball to Calhoun, who had broken to the ball then curled toward the baseline. Chumley fed him as he made the curl and Calhoun continued up the right baseline for a layup.
The Panthers got a timeout with :01.1 showing and tried to make a length-of-the-floor throw-in only to have Brandon Hill intercept as the Hornets celebrated their victory.
“We run a sideline play really similar to that,” Posey related, “and I adjusted it so that we could get Tristan the ball going towards the basket. He got it off the screen and attacked the basket well and it went in for us. It was a good play for him.
“Tristan played a really good game,” he acknowledged. “We’ve been talking a lot about stepping up and playing your game and, for the most part, he did that. I’m really proud of him. I’m proud of all these guys.
“We came out a little flat tonight,” the coach noted. “We had some good practices the last couple of days. We kind of got fired up the second half. I thought the guys did a lot of good things defensively. (Cabot) made some tough shots on us but we were resilient and persevered through it and got the win at the end.”
Vaught helped the Panthers grab the lead in the first half, scoring 10 of his team’s 17 points. He finished with 14. In the second half, Jared Vance took over for Cabot with 18 of his 21 points. Vance hit four 3-pointers, a couple of them tough step-back shots. But with Moody assigned to him, Vance missed his last two shots.
“Malcolm is a really good on-the-ball defender, really quick side-to-side movement,” Posey said. “We put him on (Vance) and subdued him for a little bit but he’s a good player. He made some tough shots on us.”
Three’s by Vaught and Vance to start the game gave the Panthers a quick 6-0 lead. By the end of the first quarter, Bryant had worked back within 8-6 with Calhoun scoring all 6.
The Hornets were within 10-8 when Vaught hit another 3. Ellis, who finished with 8 points and nine rebounds, answered but Cabot South surged to a 17-10 edge going into the final :45 of the half.
Calhoun popped a 15-footer to make it a 5-point game at the half.
To start the second half, Calhoun drained back-to-back triples to give Bryant its first lead of the game, 18-17.
After a Cabot timeout, Chumley knocked down a baseline jay to make it a 3-point lead. Vance and Hill traded buckets then Vaught and Ellis did as well. The Hornets led 24-21 with 2:29 left in the quarter.
But Vance reeled off 9 points in a row on two 3’s and an old-fashioned three-point play as the Panthers pushed out to a 30-24 lead. Chumley stemmed the tide with a trey and, after Vance hit two free throws, Calhoun was fouled attempting a 3-pointer at the buzzer. With no one at the line, he coolly knocked down all three free throws and it was 32-30 going into the final period.
Calhoun finished 11 of 11 from the line in the game.
But Vance drained a 3 and Allgood hit a free throw to start the fourth quarter. Curtis countered with a pair of free throws but Vance matched that with a running jumper to make it 38-32 going with 3:47 left.
That’s when the Hornets started their comeback.
Bryant is set to host Conway White on Monday. The Hornets then begin play in the Central Arkansas Conference on Thursday at Benton.
HORNETS 44, PANTHERS 42
Scoring by quarter
Cabot South 8 9 15 10 — 42
BRYANT 6 6 18 14 — 44
Vaught 5-8 2-2 14, Allgood 3-5 1-5 7, Henderson 0-1 0-0 0, Robertson 0-1 0-0 0, Vance 7-12 3-3 21, McCarty 0-1 0-0 0, Doakes 0-0 0-0 0, Davis 0-3 0-0 0, Griebel 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-32 6-10 42.
Chumley 2-5 0-1 5, Calhoun 5-12 11-11 23, Hill 1-4 0-0 2, Curtis 1-2 2-2 4, Ellis 3-7 2-4 8, Sandidge 0-0 0-0 0, Forst 0-0 0-0 0, Moody 1-1 0-2 2. Totals 13-31 15-20 44.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 3-9 (Calhoun 2-6, Chumley 1-2, Hill 0-1), Cabot South 6-14 (Vance 4-7, Vaught 2-4, Henderson 0-1, Robertson 0-1, McCarty 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 11, Cabot South 7. Rebounds: Bryant 11-15 26 (Ellis 2-7 9, Curtis 4-2 6, Hill 3-3 6, Chumley 0-1 1, Forst 1-0 1, Moody 0-1 1, team 1-1 2), Cabot South 5-10 15 (Robertson 1-2 3, Allgood 0-2 2, Griebel 0-2 2, Vaught 0-1 1, Henderson 0-1 1, Vance 1-0 1, Doakes 1-0 1). Team fouls: Bryant 10, Cabot South 13. Technical fouls: Cabot South, Vance, Griebel.