Freshman Hornets hang in despite cold shooting until the final minute

For more photos of this event by Kevin Nagle, go here

Jalen Montgomery (15) follows through on a floating jumper. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Despite one of their worst shooting nights so far this season, the Bryant Hornets freshman team had a chance at the end.

Trailing 31-30 with :29.2 left to play, a free throw — the front end of a one-and-one — refused to fall. At the other end, the Lake Hamilton Wolves knocked down a pair at the line. Still, a 3-pointer could tie it. But, on a night when they were 4 of 24 from beyond the arc, that 24th try missed the mark and, with :10.6 to go, two more free throws by the Wolves clinched a 35-30 victory.

It was the first Central Arkansas Junior High Conference setback for the Hornets, now 4-2 overall. They play at North Little Rock, one of just two teams that has won its first two league contests, on Thursday.

The loss came despite the Hornets holding Lake Hamilton scoreless in the second quarter. Trailing 12-7 going into the period, however, they were only able to take advantage of their defense with 6 points in the second stanza so they led 13-12 at the half.

They led by as much as 5 in the third quarter and by 3 as late as the 4:02 mark of the fourth quarter.

Landon Nelson (3) tries to get around a Lake Hamilton defender. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Lake Hamilton hit 8 of 9 free throws in the fourth quarter as they rallied. They led 31-28 going into the final two minutes and were milking the clock when Ryan Riggs made a steal and drove for a running jumper to cut the margin to 31-30 with :58 to go.

But that was the end of the Bryant scoring. Jalen Montgomery knocked down a running jumper as the whistle sounded, marking a foul. But it was ruled that the foul was committed before the shot and Montgomery went to the line with a chance to tie the game or put the Hornets in front with :29.2 showing.

His first shot rimmed out and, at the other end, two Lake Hamilton free throws pushed it to 33-30.

With a winning 3 to his credit earlier this season, the Hornets worked the ball to Aiden Adams who launched what looked like a game-tying triple only to have it rim out.

Lake Hamilton, which had lost to Cabot South, 28-21, in its league opener, is thus tied with Bryant, Benton, South, Conway Blue and Russellville going into Thursday’s home game against Benton.

Gavin Brunson goes up for a shot in a crowd. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Hayden Schrader led Bryant with 7 points. Myles Aldridge came off the bench to score 6. Riggs and Montgomery had 5 each.

The largest Lake Hamilton lead was 12-5 in the first quarter but, in the final dozen seconds, Aldridge canned a 15-footer to cut that margin. He then started the second-quarter scoring with a layup. Landon Nelson added a free throw then Braden Godwin knocked down a 3 with 3:59 left in the half, giving the Hornets a 13-12 advantage.

But neither team scored after that until Lake Hamilton opened the second half with a bucket inside. Adams countered with a 3 and, after an offensive foul on the Wolves, Schrader popped a triple from the corner to make it 19-14.

With 2:43 left in the third, the Hornets led 19-15. Two missed free throws by Montgomery followed. Aldridge rebounded and was fouled but he was unable to get his free throws to go and the Wolves closed out the quarter tied at 19.

Aldridge took a feed from Austin Schroeder for a basket to put the Hornets ahead to start the fourth quarter. Two free throws by the Wolves tied it. Schrader scored inside but a layup by Lake Hamilton tied it again. Schrader added two free throws but, again, the Wolves countered.

Ryan Riggs fires up a half-court shot at the buzzer ending one of Monday night’s quarters. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

With 4:02 left, Montgomery converted a three-point play to put the Hornets up 28-25 but that’s when the Wolves started its game-winning 10-2 run with Bryant unable to knock the lid off the bucket except for Riggs’ shot.



Score by quarters

Lake Hamilton 12        0          7          16 — 35

BRYANT          7          6          6          11 — 30


Hale 0-3 3-4 3, Rhodes 0-0 2-2 2, Sassaman 1-7 0-2 2, Jessup 5-6 0-1 10, C.Harris 3-4 4-5 10, Bardwell 0-0 0-0 0 Speer 0-1 0-0 0, W.Harris 2-2 0-2 4, Robinson 0-2 4-4 4. Totals 11-25 (44%) 13-20 (65%) 35.


Riggs 2-8 0-0 5, Montgomery 2-2 1-4 5, Adams 1-14 0-0 3, Schrader 2-6 2-2 7, Brunson 0-2 0-0 0, Aldridge 3-3 0-2 6, Godwin 1-5 0-0 3, Schroeder 0-4 0-0 0, Nelson 0-3 1-2 1, Ledbetter 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-47 (23%) 4-10 (40%) 30.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 4-24 (Adams 1-8, Riggs 1-6, Godwin 1-4, Schrader 1-3, Schrader 0-2, Nelson 0-1), Lake Hamilton 0-7 (Hale 0-3, C.Harris 0-2, Sassaman 0-1, Robinson 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 11, Lake Hamilton 16. Rebounds: Bryant 14-12 26 (Brunson 3-2 5, Schrader 2-3 5, Aldridge 2-3 5, Riggs 2-1 3, Godwin 2-1 3, Schrader 0-1 1, Nelson 1-0 1, team 2-1 3), Lake Hamilton 8-21 29 (C.Harris 3-4 7, Rhodes 2-2 4, Sassaman 2-2 4, Jessup 0-3 3, Hale 0-2 2, Bardwell 0-2 2, Robinson 0-2 2, Speer 0-1 1, team 1-3 4). Team fouls: Bryant 15, Lake Hamilton 15.

Aiden Adams puts up a shot over a Lake Hamilton defender. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

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