Central’s Tigers muscle up on Bryant’s Hornets

LITTLE ROCK — It’s been awhile — if ever — since the Bryant Hornets put a team on the court that anyone would consider physical.

Bryant Hornets forward Tim Floyd

No, Bryant basketball success has been largely dependent on consistent execution on both ends of the floor, team defense, patience and high percentage shooting, blocking out on the boards and, to varying degrees depending on the opponent, officiating that rewards them for doing those old-fashioned things well. If they "let 'em play" the Hornets are often in trouble.

It often leaves little room for error. If any one or two of those things isn’t clicking, it’s going to be a struggle to win. Beyond that, it’s got a chance to get ugly.

On Friday, Jan. 30, at Little Rock Central, it took awhile but it got that way as the taller, more muscular Tigers played over the Hornets’ heads (and backs) on the way to a 67-39 win to wrap up the first half of the 7A-Central Conference’s home-and-home schedule.

The Tigers, who gained players after mid-term exams about mid-January, took out some of their frustrations on the Hornets. They banged away inside and out-rebounded the Hornets 35-17. As physical as the game was, there were only 22 free throws attempted between the two teams after the girls game had featured 56.

The teams came into the game tied for last place with one conference win each, a fact that belied the Tigers’ talent.[more]

The Hornets were right with them for awhile, thanks to the outside shooting of Dontay Renuard and K-Ron Lairy in combination with Tim Floyd.

Central rushed to a 7-0 lead but Renuard buried a 3 out of a Bryant timeout to get the Hornets going. The Tigers’ Jordan Talbert answered inside but Floyd hit an eight-footer and followed up with an alley-oop dunk behind the Tiger zone on a nice feed from Brandon Parish.

Trevon Wilkerson drove for a Tigers basket to make it 11-7 but Lairy flushed a triple. Talbert’s free throw was followed by a bucket inside by Alandus Harris. But Lairy countered with his second trey tying the game at 13 with 1:50 left in the first quarter.

That’s when Central took control of the game, reeling off a 12-0 run. Floyd ended the Hornets’ 5:28 dryspell with a free throw but the Hornets just never recovered.

Harris scored inside and Parish drained a 3 to get the Hornets within 27-17 but Central finished the half on a 9-0 stretch and the lead was never less than 17 the rest of the game.

Harris finished with 19 points off the bench. Tevin Scott added 14, Talbert 9.

Floyd led Bryant with 14. Dijon Benton added 8, Lairy 6.

The Hornets, 7-12 overall and 1-6 in the conference, was set to open what they hope will be a much better second half, at home against Little Rock Catholic on Tuesday, Feb. 3.

LITTLE ROCK CENTRAL 67, BRYANT 39

Score by quarters

BRYANT 13 4 13 9 — 39

LR Central 17 19 12 17 — 67

BRYANT (7-12, 1-6) 39

Player fg-fga ft-fta reb fls pts

o-d-t

Lairy 2-7 0-0 0-1 1 3 6

Parish 1-1 0-0 1-0 1 0 3

Floyd 4-10 2-5 0-3 3 1 11

Benton 4-11 0-0 2-1 3 3 8

Renuard 1-3 0-0 0-2 2 4 3

Butzlaff 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 2 0

Whaley 1-2 0-1 1-0 1 0 2

Whitfield 2-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 4

Prescott 0-1 2-2 0-0 0 1 2

Stitch 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Rayburn 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Gattin 0-4 0-0 1-0 1 0 0

Team reb. 1-3 4

Totals 15-43 4-10 7-10 17 15 39

LITTLE ROCK CENTRAL (9-8, 2-5) 67

Player fg-fga ft-ft reb fls pts

o-d-t

Wilkerson 3-5 0-0 0-2 2 0 7

Melvin 0-4 0-0 0-1 1 1 0

Washington 4-6 0-2 5-1 6 0 8

Talbert 4-6 1-4 5-3 8 1 9

Ekoh 1-1 0-2 0-3 3 1 2

Scott 6-11 0-0 0-3 3 4 14

Collier 2-4 2-3 0-0 0 3 6

A.Harris 9-13 1-1 4-3 7 2 19

Taylor 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

D.Harris 0-0 0-0 0-2 2 0 0

Jackson 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 2 0

Shaw 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 2

Dennis 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Roberts 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Team reb. 0-2 2

Totals 30-52 4-12 14-21 35 15 67

Three-point field goals: Bryant 5-18 (Lairy 2-5, Floyd 1-3, Renuard 1-2, Parish 1-1, Benton 0-3, Gattin 0-3, Prescott 0-1), Little Rock Central 3-13 (Scott 2-6, Wilkerson 1-3, Melvin 0-3, Collier 0-1, Jackson 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 15, Little Rock Central 12.

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