Hornets hold off Sheridan rally to capture fifth straight victory
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
By ROB PATRICK
SHERIDAN — A funny thing happened to the Bryant Hornets on the way to their fifth consecutive win.
They almost lost. To a team that hasn’t won a game this season.
The Hornets led the Sheridan Yellowjackets by 16 points, 38-22 early in the fourth quarter only to see that bulge whittled down to 2 in the final minute. Micah Farish needed to hit four free throws after that to preserve a 45-42 victory.
The Hornets improved to 6-2 on the season going into their final pre-Christmas contest a rematch with the Benton Panthers on Friday, Dec. 16.
After three consecutive stellar performances, the Hornets weren’t quite as sharp even at the start of the game when they ran out to a 9-2 lead, forcing Sheridan out of its man-to-man defense with their execution of the give-and-go, backdoor offense. Chris Chumley and Jeremy Nordman took turns feeding Farish for layups on the first two buckets. Farish got the assist on the third with a nice inbounds pass to Chase Shaw. A 3-pointer by Phillip Porchay made it 9-2.
Sheridan cut the lead to 9-7 but Bryant maintained the advantage and took an 11-7 lead into the second period.
The Hornets built the lead to 19-9 before halftime. Sheridan gunner T.J. Wreyford hit a 3 in the last minute to cut the margin to 7.
And the Yellowjackets were still within range, 23-19 going into the final two minutes of the third quarter. That’s when the Hornets started to pull away with a flurry. Chumley hit a pair of free throws to begin what turned into a 15-3 run. Nordman canned a 3 and, after a free throw by Sheridan’’ Jesse Cole, Farish followed suit from beyond the arc to make it 31-20.
Sheridan’s Zach Taylor scored off a steal but, before the quarter was over, Nordman drained another triple to make it 34-22 going into the final period.
Sophomore Taylor Masters came off the bench and scored the first two baskets of the fourth quarter to make it a 16-point game, the first off a nice high-low feed from Shaw, the second on a jumper off a pump fake.
Sheridan’s rally was fueled by the inside play of Derrick McCarthy and Cole. Both had been in foul trouble and had to sit out much of the first half. Cole wound up leading the Jackets with 13 points and nine rebounds.
Bryant suffered seven of its 16 turnovers in the final quarter as Sheridan rallied. A 3-pointer by Chris Blackerby with :26 left had the Jackets within 41-39. After a timeout, however, Farish was fouled and he converted both free throws. Taylor missed at the other end and Farish was fouled again. Two more free throws made it 45-39 with :09 to go. Wreyford drilled a long 3 to end the game.
Farish wound up with 16 points, Nordman had 10 and Shaw 8 for Bryant.