Energized Hornets finish up tourney with win
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
RUSSELLVILLE — Late in the first half and for the entire second half of the Bryant Hornets’ game against[more] the Mountain Home Bombers on Friday, head coach Mike Abrahamson put his team into a full-court press. And, though they Hornets’ comeback was thwarted, he decided to start Saturday’s contest against the Subiaco Academy Trojans in the press.
Forcing 13 first-half turnovers and holding the Trojans to 2 of 17 shooting from the field, it helped the Hornets build a lead of as much as 21 on their way to a 50-35 victory to conclude the Cyclone Classic at Russellville High School.
“It’s a match-up thing but it’s also something to provide energy,” Abrahamson explained. “(Friday), things weren’t going well. I was just trying to give our team something to have, to promote energy and enthusiasm. It didn’t really seem to work when we started it but it seemed to work the second half a little bit better as far as energy and enthusiasm.
“Today, the same thing, plus the match-up,” he added. “We just felt like the match-up dictated that we could do it.”
Abrahamson felt his team needed an infusion of energy on Friday.
“We weren’t playing well,” he acknowledged. “We weren’t in any sort of rhythm offensively. I’m watching the film and we’re getting good shots but they’re not falling, especially early. That got us down and we had to play from behind.
“That does something to your psyche when you’re not making shots early,” the coach continued. “Every coach knows when you’re shooting the ball well, everything seems to be going well. And, when you’re not, it’s really hard to maintain everything else like it should be done. We can say, it shouldn’t affect defense, it shouldn’t affect other things but it does. Especially with teenagers, it has an effect on them.
“I just told them I’m going to help them fix it starting Monday,” Abrahamson related. “We need practices. We’re in a tournament so we really couldn’t practice. We just need to finish. And you never know, that might click at any moment. I feel good about what we’re doing. We’ve just had trouble putting it in the hole, especially early on Thursday and Friday.”
In the process of ratcheting up the pressure on Friday, Abrahamson went deep into his bench to keep people fresh. He did the same Saturday and eight different players contributed to the scoring.
It was on Friday, however, that the Hornets got a lift from one of those subs, junior Jalen Hewett. He scored 4 points and, in a game in which the Hornets struggled on the boards, hauled down five rebounds along the way.
That, coupled with junior forward Zach Cambron’s sore knee, earned Hewett his first varsity start on Saturday and he came through with 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds, helping the team out-board the Trojans, 33-26.
“We’ve known that he could do it and it’s exciting to see from him,” Abrahamson commented. “People may not know but he quit last spring. He wasn’t with us all summer. He thought about it and he really wanted to come back. We gave him the chance and he’s making the most of his second opportunity. But we’ve known it was in there the whole time. We were just waiting for it to come out. I’m really happy for Jalen.”
The Hornets also got a full game from senior post Quinton Motto who was plagued with foul trouble on Friday. Motto came through with a game-high 12 points. Marcus Wilson added 8.
Bryant bolted to a 15-2 lead to start the game. Motto’s two free throws and a drive to the rack by Hewett accounted for the first 4 points. After Subiaco’s Cash Krueger hit the offensive glass for a bucket with 6:53 left in the opening quarter, the Trojans were blanked until the final seconds of the period.
Wilson canned a pair of 3’s during the opening salvo. Cambron hit a layup off a nice feed from Anthony Black and Jordan Griffin converted a pair of free throws. Black hit a floater with :30 left to make it 15-2 before a basket by Subiaco’s Jody Chauvin with :07.4 left.
The Hornets started the second quarter with a 9-0 blitz. A pair of buckets by Motto bookended the run. Hewett contributed another bucket and C.J. Rainey drained a triple as the margin grew to 24-4.
The Trojans didn’t manage a single field goal in the quarter. Kamron Hurst hit four free throws and Krueger hit a pair. But a basket by Brantley Cozart and free throws by Wilson and Griffin produced the 31-10 advantage.
It was 31-12 at the half after a free throw apiece from Branton Sims and Chris Reed for the Trojans.
When the Hornets opened the second half scoring with a pair of free throws by Hewett (off an offensive rebound) and a basket inside by Motto, Bryant had its largest lead at 34-12.
Bryant backed off the pressure after that and Subiaco whittled the lead down to 11 at 44-33 at the 3:45 mark of the fourth quarter. The Trojans had a couple of chances to get closer but Eric Siebenmorgan couldn’t get a shot to go then Krueger’s 3-point try rimmed out. Motto rebounded and was fouled with 2:52 left. He converted on two shots at the line and it seemed to stem the tide.
The Hornets returned to their pressure defense and forced a turnover that Black cashed in with a short jumper to make it 48-33.
Siebenmorgan converted twice at the line with 1:18 left but the Hornets spread the floor and picked up the last 2 of the game on a layup by Hewett who got open behind the gambling Subiaco defense.
The Hornets, now 2-3, return to action on Tuesday when they head to Lake Hamilton.
HORNETS 50, TROJANS 35
Score by quarters
Subiaco 4 8 11 12 — 35
BRYANT 15 16 8 11 — 50
Player fg-fga ft-fta reb fls pts
Hurst 0-3 4-4 1-3 4 3 4
Sims 0-4 1-2 1-2 3 0 1
Guist 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 3 0
Krueger 3-10 4-6 1-3 4 2 10
C.Reed 0-2 1-2 1-1 2 1 1
Siebenmorgan 3-7 3-3 0-0 0 0 10
Drury 1-6 0-0 0-3 3 1 3
Chauvin 3-4 0-1 0-3 3 2 6
Berry 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0
Team 4-2 6
Totals 10-36 13-18 8-18 26 14 35
Player fg-fga ft-fta reb fls pts
Cozart 1-4 0-0 0-1 1 3 2
Rainey 2-5 0-0 0-3 3 0 6
Wilson 2-5 2-2 3-2 5 2 8
Hewett 5-6 1-2 2-5 7 3 11
Motto 3-8 6-6 1-2 3 3 12
Cambron 1-1 0-0 0-1 1 2 2
Griffin 1-7 2-4 0-1 1 3 5
Black 2-6 0-0 2-2 4 2 4
Davis 0-2 0-0 1-1 2 1 0
Royal 0-0 0-0 2-0 2 0 0
Rayburn 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Scoggins 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
B.Reed 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Team 1-3 4
Totals 17-44 11-14 12-21 33 19 50
Three-point field goals: Bryant 5-17 (Wilson 2-5, Rainey 2-3, Griffin 1-4, Cozart 0-3, Motto 0-1, Black 0-1), Subiaco Academy 2-12 (Drury 1-5, Siebenmorgan 1-1, Krueger 0-3, C.Reed 0-2, Sims 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 19, Subiaco Academy 18.