For more photos from this event by Kevin Nagle, go here
The Bryant Hornets freshman team put together a 14-0 run in the second half to break up a tight game against the Cabot North Panthers, producing an 18-point advantage two minutes into the fourth quarter.
The Panthers gamely fought back and cut that margin in half but, nevertheless, the Hornets held forth for a 40-31 win in Central Arkansas Junior High Conference play.
Bryant improved to 11-6 overall and 8-2 in the league, maintaining its share of second play. The Hornets host Lake Hamilton in their next action on Thursday, Jan. 19.
“As always, intensity and energy were the keys,” said Hornets coach Tyler Posey. “We have a lot of athleticism and we try to use it on the defensive end. I thought the defense really sparked us on the second half run that kind of separated us. They worked really hard. They’ve been improving every day.”
Bryant was paced by 6-5 post man Catrell Wallace with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Darrick Rose added 7 points and four boards.
Houston King had 13 for Cabot North with Austin Poole adding 11 including a trio of 3-pointers.
The Hornets guards did a good job of looking for Wallace when they were able to drive the ball.
“That’s been a point of emphasis for the last week or so,” Posey said. “We’re really trying to find our big men, Catrell but also (Ethan) Hilkert inside. We did a really good job of that the last few games and we’ve started scoring inside a bit more.”
Wallace hit a free throw to start the second half scoring. Cabot North’s Ethan Rosenbaum hit a short jumper at the other end to cut Bryant’s lead to 21-17.
The Hornets’ surge began with O.J. Newburn pulling up off a drive and popping a jumper as he was fouled. Though he was unable to complete the three-point play, the Hornets soon had the ball back off a Cabot North turnover. Following his own miss, Wallace scored.
With 1:58 left in the third quarter, Keith Merriweather Jr. drove and found Colby Washington for a layup and the Hornets had a 10-point lead, 27-17.
At the end of the quarter, Wallace it the offensive boards and scored, increasing the edge to 12 points.
To start the fourth period, Wallace kicked out to Rose, who drained a 15-footer from near the left elbow. Off a Cabot North miss, Wallace got behind the defense for a layup to make it 33-17.
Out of a Panther timeout, the Hornets forced another turnover that led to Wallace following his own miss to score.
Finally, with 3:48 left in the contest, King converted two free throws to end a drought of almost eight minutes.
A driving layup by Daniel Washington countered and, with 2:43 to go, Cabot North began to rally off a 3 by Poole. The final margin, however, was as close as they could get.
The Hornets forced 18 turnovers in the game and out-rebounded the Panthers 29-17.
Bryant scored the first 7 points of the game. Wallace followed a teammate’s miss for the first points then made a steal at the other end that Cade Drennan cashed in with an 18-footer.
Drennan would add a free throw then Rose made a steal and layup to complete the opening salvo as Cabot North took a timeout.
Out of the timeout, King scored only to have Hilkert answer. Still, by the end of the first quarter, Bryant’s lead was only 11-8 as Poole punctuated the period with his first trey.
Tre’Vun Herron broke the ice on the second quarter and the game went back and forth. The Panthers whittled the lead to 1 at 16-15 thanks to free throws by King, Clayton Gray and Brock Morton. All 7 of Cabot North’s second-quarter points came off free throws.
The Hornets never fell behind the Panthers. Drennan added to the 1-point margin with two free throws with :42.3 showing on the clock. Newburn converted both ends of a one-and-one with :07.4 showing to make it 20-15 at the half.
HORNETS 40, PANTHERS 31
Score by quarters
BRYANT 11 9 9 11 — 40
Cabot North 8 7 2 14 — 31
Martin 0-1 2-2 2, Gray 0-7 3-6 3, Rosenbaum 1-2 0-0 2, King 3-7 7-8 13, Poole 4-10 0-0 11, L.Petross 0-0 0-0 0, Owens 0-1 0-0 0, J.Petross 0-1 0-0 0, Hunt 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 8-29 12-16 31.
Rose 2-7 3-4 7, Newburn 1-6 3-5 5, Drennan 1-2 3-3 5, Wallace 6-7 1-3 13, Hilkert 2-5 0-0 4, C.Washington 1-1 0-0 2, Barnes 0-1 0-0 0, Herron 1-2 0-0 2, West 0-1 0-0 0, D.Washington 1-1 0-0 2, Merriweather 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 15-36 10-15 40.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 0-5 (Newburn 0-2, Drennan 0-1, Herron 0-1, West 0-1), Cabot North 3-14 (Poole 3-6, Gray 0-4, Martin 0-1, Rosenbaum 0-1, King 0-1, Owens 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 17, Cabot North 18. Rebounds: Bryant 13-16 29 (Wallace 7-3 10, Rose 1-3 4, D.Washington 1-3 4, Newburn 0-2 2, Hilkert 1-1 2, Merriweather 0-2 2, Drennan 1-0 1, Barnes 0-1 1, team 2-1 3), Cabot North 5-12 17 (Poole 1-3 4, Rosenbaum 1-2 3, King 1-2 3, J.Petross 0-3 3, Martin 1-1 2, Gray 0-1 1, team 1-0 1). Team fouls: Bryant 17, Cabot North 13.