Cold shooting, Drake undermine Bryant Hornets’ effort

By Rob Patrick

The Bryant Hornets got some open looks from outside in the first half of their 7A-Central Conference game against the Little Rock Catholic Rockets on Tuesday, Feb. 3. They just couldn't knockDontay Renuard contributed 10 points and seven rebounds for the Bryant Hornets. enough of them down, particularly in the first half, to offset the inside prowess of the Rockets in general and senior Michael Drake in particular.

The Hornets were 2 of 12 from 3-point range, 0-for-7 in the second quarter when they could've made up some ground while holding the Rockets to 5 points in the period. The shooting woes left they down 24-15 at the break. And, though they rallied to within 4 in the fourth quarter after trailing by as much as 16, the Hornets just couldn't gain the upper hand in a 55-44 loss to start the second half of the league's home-and-home schedule.

Drake did it all for the Rockets. The 6-7 senior posted up and scored as might be expected, but he also got points off his dribble-drives and popped a trio of 3-pointers on his way to 29 points. He added 13 rebounds, and teammate Garrett Uekman pitched in with 12 points and 11 boards.

"I can't complain about our shot selection," stated Hornets head coach Mark Smith. "We had guys taking shots that they can make when they were open. We just weren't hitting them."

Tim Floyd led the Hornets with 15 points including a couple of spectacular dunks. Dontay Renuard added 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds. But the Hornets were out-boarded by the bigger Rockets 36-20. They didn't figure to get many second shots so the 33 percent shooting from the field hurt.[more]

Bryant was without senior starter Dijon Benton, the team's second-leading scorer. He was ill.

The win improved the defending State champion Rockets to 4-12 overall, 3-5 in league play. 

Brandon Parish goes up for a shot.

Bryant dropped to 7-13 and 1-7.

Catholic built a lead of as much as 16 late in the third quarter, 36-20, with Drake accounting for 24 of his team's points up to then. Floyd hit a jumper in the lane, leaping high to get the shot over Drake to start the Hornets' comeback. At the other end, he blocked a shot by Uekman. Drake rebounded, but Bryant's K-Ron Lairy swiped the ball and was fouled by the big man. Lairy converted both ends of the one-and-one to trim the margin to 36-24.

Drake fed Joseph Glancy for a layup after finding his way out of a tough double-team near the sideline. But Cameron Whaley trumped that for the Hornets with a 3 to make it 38-27 going into the final eight minutes.

A sweet pass from Bryce Whitfield to Kendal Butzlaff for layup off a backdoor cut started the scoring in the fourth quarter, getting the lead below double figures for the first time since early in the half. Drake answered but Whitfield drained a 3 and Bryant was within 40-32. Uekman countered with a pair of free throws only to have Lairy drain a triple to cut the lead to 7 with 6:09 to play.

Two more free throws by Uekman bumped the margin to 9 but Floyd got those back at the line. Thomas Maxwell and Renuard traded hoops before Whitfield hit another trey and, after Maxwell missed twice at the free-throw line, Floyd grabbed the rebound and was fouled. His free throws with 3:09 to play had the Hornets within 48-44.

But those were the last points scored by the Hornets in the game. The Rockets hit 5 of 6 free throws after that and Drake posted up for the last of his points to extend the margin.

Catholic had led 19-10 after a quarter with Drake accounting for 15 of his team's points. It was 24-15 at the half. The Hornets were still within 28-19 with 4:53 left in the third quarter when Uekman and Drake put together an 8-1 run to build the 16-point lead.

The Hornets were set to travel to Van Buren on Friday in a rematch with the team they defeated early in conference play. The Rockets host Cabot.



Score by quarters

LR Catholic 19 5 14 17 — 55

BRYANT 10 5 12 17 — 44

ROCKETS (4-12, 3-5) 55

Player fg-fga ft-fta reb. fls. pts.


Glancy 1-2 0-0 1-1 2 2 2

Uekman 3-8 6-8 2-9 11 3 12

Klein 1-7 0-0 1-4 5 1 2

P.Drake 1-2 2-2 0-1 1 2 4

M.Drake 11-19 4-5 5-8 13 4 29

Atkinson 0-0 2-2 0-0 0 1 2

Maxwell 2-4 0-2 1-1 2 0 4

Team rebs. 1-1 2

Totals 19-42 14-19 11-25 36 13 55

HORNETS (7-13, 1-7) 44

Player fg-fga ft-fta reb. fls. pts.


Lairy 1-7 3-4 0-3 3 1 6

Parish 1-1 0-0 0-1 1 0 2

Butzlaff 1-1 0-0 1-0 1 4 2

Floyd 4-11 6-7 1-3 4 4 15

Renuard 4-12 1-2 2-5 7 3 10

Stitch 0-3 0-0 0-1 1 1 0

Whitfield 2-6 0-0 0-0 0 0 6

Whaley 1-1 0-0 1-0 1 1 3

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

Team rebs. 0-2 2 

Totals 14-42 10-13 5-15 20 15 44

Three-point field goals: Little Rock Catholic 3-7 (M.Drake 3-6, Glancy 0-1), Bryant 6-21 (Whitfield 2-4, Floyd 1-5, Lairy 1-4, Whaley 1-1, Stitch 0-2). Turnovers: Little Rock Catholic 8, Bryant 6.  

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