Cats hand disappointing loss to freshman Hornets

The Bryant Hornets freshman team came into Monday night’s game against the Conway Blue Wampus Cats, starting a four-game run in which they would play teams that they were contending with for a spot in the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference post-season tournament. There was a little wiggle room. They didn’t necessarily have to win all four.

There’s not much room for error now, however, after they suffered a disheartening 60-32 loss to Conway Blue at Bryant Middle School gym.

They’ll try to get that late role going starting Thursday when they host the Catholic Junior Rockets.

Things started out just fine for the Hornets on Monday. They led most of the first quarter. A pair of baskets by Tristan Calhoun had them up 4-2. Conway managed a 5-4 lead but Luke Curtis scored inside and, after a Cats’ miss, so did Brooks Ellis to give Bryant an 8-5 edge.

Conway, however, put together a 9-0 surge that included a 3-pointer by Devin Clark. The Cats led 12-8 going into the second quarter and 14-8 before the Hornets scored again.

Jake Forst ended the drought with a baseline jumper off a feed from Malcolm Moody. Conway’s Jayren Macon answered with a 3 but Matthew Sandidge hit a layup off an assist from Ellis and Calhoun drained a triple to get the Hornets back within 17-15 with 3:33 left in the first half.

Unfortunately, the Hornets didn’t score again until the final 20 seconds of the half when Ellis hit a free throw after grabbing an offensive rebound. In the interim, Conway, sparked by Jaren Richards went on a 10-0 run.

The Hornets struggled to keep the quicker Cats from getting to the rim. And when they did, a kick-out pass often led to a 3. And if the 3 didn’t fall, Conway out-rebounded Bryant 34 to 27 including 11 boards on the offensive end.

The Cats’ lead was 27-16 at the half.

And when they started the second half with the first 8 points capped by a pair of hoops from Clark, it was a 19-point game.

The teams swapped baskets for the rest of the third quarter. Curtis scored off a steal, Ellis hit a short jumper then Curtis drove for a bucket. Still, Conway led 41-22 going into the final minute of the period.

Sam Chumley made a steal and layup and, after a Conway turnover, Ellis converted twice at the line to make it 41-26. But any thoughts of a rally were quieted by a three-point play from Clark, which started another 10-0 run.

The 44-26 lead going into the fourth quarter expanded to 51-26 before Sandidge converted a pair of free throws for Bryant’s first points of the final period at the 3:45 mark.

Clark, Macon and Chase Fisher each hit 3’s in the final 2:30. Forst and Brandon Hill had the lone baskets for the Hornets.

CONWAY BLUE 60, BRYANT 32

Score by quarters

Conway Blue  12       15       17       16 — 60

BRYANT          8          8          10       6 — 32

WAMPUS CATS 60

D.Jones 5-8 0-0 10, Richards 4-9 4-7 12, Fuller 1-3 1-2 3, Macon 3-7 0-0 8, Clark 5-11 3-3 15, B.Jones 2-3 1-2 5, Tribble 1-1 0-0 2, Washington 1-3 0-0 2, Fisher 1-2 0-0 3, Jackson 0-2 0-0 0, Beasley 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-50 9-14 60.

HORNETS 32

Murray 0-1 0-0 0, Chumley 1-4 0-0 2, Calhoun 3-10 0-0 7, Curtis 3-4 0-0 6, Ellis 2-4 3-4 7, Moody 0-3 0-0 0, Forst 2-8 0-0 4, Sandidge 1-3 2-2 4, Shirlee 0-1 0-0 0, Hill 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 13-42 5-6 32.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 1-4 (Calhoun 1-3, Chumley 0-1), Conway Blue 5-17 (Macon 2-5, Clark 2-5, Fisher 1-2, Richards 0-3, Washington 0-1, Jackson 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 17, Conway Blue 12. Rebounds: Bryant 8-19 27 (Sandidge 3-3 6, Moody 2-3 5, Ellis 1-3 4, Forst 1-2 3, Calhoun 0-3 3, Curtis 0-2 2, Murray 0-1 1, Shirlee 0-1 1, team 1-1 2), Conway Blue 11-23 34 (Clark 2-7 9, Macon 0-7 7, D.Jones 2-3 5, Richards 1-2 3, Jackson 2-1 3, Fuller 2-0 2, Tribble 0-2 2, B.Jones 1-0 1, Washington 0-1 1, team 1-0 1). Team fouls: Bryant 12, Conway Blue 9.

 

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