Photos by Kevin Nagle
After falling behind by 11 early in the third quarter, the Bryant Blue Hornets eighth grade team of Bethel Middle School fought back to within 7 before the fourth quarter. But the Conway White Wampus Cats eighth grade team went on a 13-1 run to end the game, coming away with a 42-23 victory to conclude the Hornets’ season Thursday night.
Ethan Hilkret led Bethel with 8 points. Kayleb West and Cade Drennan added 5 each. Daniel Walter scored 2 with Codi Kirby, Ben Devine and Baker Bright pitching in with a free throw apiece.
The Hornets got off to a good start. After an opening 3 by the Cats, West answered with a triple. A layup by Drennan put them ahead and, after Conway tied it with free throws, Hilkret hit a jumper in the lane to make it 7-5.
Conway White scored in the late going to tie it 7-7 going into the second quarter. The Cats pushed the lead to 12-7 but free throws by Walter and Kirby had the Hornets within 14-10.
That’s when the Cats pushed the margin out to 10. Hilkret cut it to 8 but the Hornets were unable to get any closer, trailing 26-17 at the half.
Conway scored first in the second half as both teams struggled for a while. Drennan took a kick-out from Hilkret and popped a 3 and, after a free throw by Conway, West drove for a layup that had the Hornets within 29-22 with 2:38 left in the third quarter.
But Bethel only managed a free throw by Bright after that as Conway White took advantage and pulled away.