Defense keys victory for Bryant frosh at Greenbrier

GREENBRIER — The Bryant Hornets freshman team held the Greenbrier Junior Panthers without a field goal for the last 38 seconds of the first quarter, the entire second quarter, the entire third quarter and the first 1:30 of the fourth quarter.

Though they didn’t take big advantage of that defense in the second period, the third quarter proved to be too much for the Panthers to overcome as the Hornets forged a 33-21 win.

Bryant led by as much as 15 along the way as the team bounced back from its first loss of the season to North Little Rock in the finals of the Bryant Invitational on Saturday. Now 4-1, the Hornets will open play in the South Division of the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference on Monday, Nov. 30, at Conway Blue.[more]

Aaron Bell led all scorers with 10 points for the Hornets. Riley Hall added 6 with Greenbrier’s trio of Joe Jones, Jacob Colbert and Jesse May matching that to lead their team.

Greenbrier never led. The game was tied at 4 early on after a layup by Colbert off a Bryant turnover but when Scott Workman took a lob in the lane off an inbounds pass under the basket and scored the Hornets were ahead to stay. Bell made a steal and fed Marcus Wilson for a layup and it was 8-4.

Austin Fischer drove for a layup to answer for Greenbrier but Luke Rayborn trumped that with a 3-pointer to make it 11-6. May’s stickback with :38 left in the first quarter made it a 3-point game but that was the Panthers’ last field goal for 14 minutes of the 24-minute game.

But while Greenbrier only added a free throw by Jones in the second quarter, Bryant only added a layup by Hall off a nice dump-down feed from Leon Neale. The Hornets led 13-9 at the half.

Despite the lack of scoring, the two teams went up and down the court. Bryant was struggling to solve Greenbrier’s zone defense which gambled for steals on the wings and trapped in the corners. The Panthers wound up forcing 18 Hornets turnovers but they shot only 23 percent (7 of 30) from the field including 0 for 14 through the middle periods.

To start the third quarter, Hall fed Workman inside for a layup and, after a Greenbrier miss, Bell drove for a bucket that made it 17-9.

Workman blocked a shot at the other end then the two teams scrambled for a while. Greenbrier had three other chances to answer before Bell drilled a 3 to make it 20-9.

May hit a free throw with 3:35 left in the period ending a scoreless stretch of over six minutes. His second shot was negated by a lane violation.

Moments later, Bell knocked down a pair from the charity stripe and, after Garrett Johnson’s free throw for Greenbrier, Strodney Davis beat the buzzer ending the period with a pull-up pop in the lane.

And when Zach Cambron hit the offensive glass for the first basket of the fourth quarter, the Hornets had their largest lead at 26-11.

Colbert converted two free throws in response only to have Workman feed Cambron on a high-low set for a layup that made it a 15-point game again going into the final five minutes of play.

With 4:30 to go, May ended Greenbrier’s field goal drought with a 15-foot jumper. The Panthers eventually trimmed the lead to 10 and forced a turnover that gave them a chance to get closer.

But the Hornets returned the favor. Cambron was fouled with 2:48 to go but missed both shots at the line. Hall, however, tapped the carom off the second miss to Wilson and, eventually, he was fouled with 2:18 to go. Wilson hit a free throw then, despite a timeout, the Panthers turned the ball over. Hall got behind the defense for a layup and the lead was back to 31-18.

Jones hit a 3 with 1:25 left and the Hornets turned the ball over but, much to their frustration, the Panthers couldn’t get any of the three shots they attempted at the other end to fall.

Bell tacked on the final points from the line with :37 left then made a steal to complete the victory.


Score by quarters

BRYANT 11 2 11 9 — 33

Greenbrier 8 1 2 10 — 21


Bell 3-7 3-5 10, Wilson 1-7 2-2 4, Hall 3-6 0-1 6, Neale 0-0 0-0 0, Workman 2-6 0-0 4, Cambron 2-3 0-2 4, Hewitt 0-0 0-0 0, Rayburn 1-2 0-0 3, S.Davis 1-4 0-0 2, J.Davis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-35 5-10 33.


Fischer 1-3 0-0 2, Colbert 2-8 2-2 6, Jones 2-8 1-4 6, Cain 0-2 0-0 0, May 2-8 2-5 6, Banard 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 0-1 1-2 1, Ward 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 7-30 6-13 21.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 2-11 (Bell 1-2, Rayburn 1-2, Wilson 0-5, Hall 0-2), Greenbrier 1-5 (Jones 1-1, Fischer 0-2, Colbert 0-1, Johnson 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 18, Greenbrier 16. Rebounds: Bryant 27 (Workman 7, Hall, Neale 4), Greenbrier 23 (May 6). Team fouls: Bryant 13, Greenbrier 11. Fouled out: Greenbrier, Colbert.

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