Bench sparks win over Yellowjackets
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
BENTON — With key players trickling in from Bryant, Bauxite or Little Rock after taking the ACT test that morning, the Bryant Hornets weren’t full force for awhile when they took on the rival Sheridan Yellowjackets early Saturday afternoon on the final day of the Wal-Mart Supercenter Shootout. But the team never trailed on the way to a 55-25 victory that was marked by a 10-minute stretch in which Sheridan was unable to score.
Granted, the Yellowjackets were a man short and, no doubt, a bit distracted. Senior Phillip Monk, the team’s leading scorer, was not with the team due to the tragic death of his brother in a construction accident earlier in the week.
The win was the fourth in the last five games for the Hornets, who improved to 6-3 on the season going into their final game before the Christmas break at Benton on Friday, Dec. 20.
“We’re in a three or four game stretch here going into the Christmas break that’s really important to us,” stated Hornets head coach Mark Smith. “I thought the guys stepped up great today. They played hard and a lot of guys that were asked to play that aren’t normally starters but are key reserves, stepped up. I thought Kyle Lynch did an excellent job. I thought Geoff Tucker played real well. B.J. (Wood) came in and played good after we weren’t sure he’d be here to start.
“Our defense was pretty good today,” he added. “We took care of the ball and made some good decisions. The second quarter, we made some bad decisions, probably tried to do some things that really tried to force the issue too much. We got a little bit of a lead and got a little too comfortable, I thought. But we talked about that at halftime and we didn’t force the second half like we did in the second quarter. We made the most of our opportunities.”
Ten of the 13 Hornets that played got into the scoring column, led by Jaston Carter, one of the late arrivals. Nick Dorsey gave the Hornets a lift offensively, scoring all 9 of his points in the first half after drawing the start. Wood finished with 7 and Lynch had 6 to go with a team-high six rebounds.
Dorsey started the scoring with a three-point play then Wood scored off a nice feed from Dwayne Chumley to make it 5-0.
And the Hornets were never headed. They led 13-9 going into the final two minutes of the opening period. Keith Richardson made a steal and fed Chumley for a layup then Carter hit a jumper to extend the lead to 17-9 going into the last minute. Carter and Chumley then worked a nice give and go in the waning moments for a layup by Carter which gave the Hornets their first double-digit advantage.
The lead was 11 when Dorsey hit two free throws with 1:52 left in the half but layups by Chase Buie and Nick Baker enabled Sheridan to get within 27-20 at the break.
But Baker’s basket with :28 left in the half was the last for Sheridan for awhile. The Jackets didn’t score again until Lance Clary’s stickback with 6:18 left in the game. Before Clary’s hoop, Bryant had built a 45-20 bulge.
The third quarter was highlighted by Lynch’s 6 points including an offensive rebound basket off a missed free throw midway through the period. Drew Devasher also came through with a hustling play that led to a basket. Devasher knocked the ball loose from one of the Sheridan guards. The ball rolled into the backcourt and, with a headlong dive, Devasher got to it before the Sheridan player who had a three-step head start. And Devasher not only recovered the “fumble,” he was able to toss it ahead to Wood for a layup.
Tucker, the Hornets’ 6-4 center, stepped outside to knock down a 15-footer early in the quarter then, working the high-low post with Lynch, fed his teammate nicely for the last bucket of the period, giving Bryant a 43-20 edge.
Reserves played the fourth quarter for Bryant. Richardson, Casey Grisham, Jeremy Chumley and Devin Rice all added to the Bryant scoring as the lead maxed out at the end.