Freshman Hornets overcome slow start to post second league victory

The Bryant Hornets freshman team huddles around head coach Steve Wilson during a timeout Thursday night. (Photo by Rick Nation)By Rob Patrick

At the end of the first quarter in their game against the Sheridan Freshman Stingers on Thursday night, the Bryant Hornets freshman team was struggling. They hit just 1 of 11 shots from the field, turned the ball over four times and made a free throw in two tries.

They found themselves trailing the visiting Stingers, 6-3.

But the second quarter was completely different. Picking it up on the defensive end and extending their defense, the Hornets went on a 12-0 run that extended to an 18-2 second quarter on their way to a 38-19 win.[more]

The victory improved Bryant to 6-1 on the season and 2-0 in the South Division of the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference. They play Little Rock Catholic at Mount St. Mary’s Academy on Monday, Dec. 7.

“With us, we’ve got to score off our defense and frustrate the other team,” stated Hornets coach Steve Wilson. “This group’s really good about anticipating the pass and, when we trap, they try to get that steal off the pass. Hopefully, we can keep that going.”

Zach Cambron, making his first start for the Hornets, led the way with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Aaron Bell and Marcus Wilson added 9 points each. Leon Neale and Strodney Davis 4 apiece and Scott Workman 2.

Cambron wore No. 52 to honor Alan Cozart, who tragically passed away recently. Cozart was a star at Arkansas Tech University in the late 1980’s and early ‘90’s. His son Brantley is a sophomore on the Bryant Hornets senior high team.

Cambron, off a nice feed from Workman, hit a layup to start the second-quarter spree. Bell made a steal and went to the line to hit a pair that put the Hornets ahead to stay, 7-6.

The Hornets forced a five-second call on a Sheridan inbounds play which led to another basket by Cambron off the offensive glass.

Wilson added a pair of free throws as the Hornets’ aggressive play on the offensive end began to get the Stingers in foul trouble.

With 3:44 left in the half, Strodney Davis grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled on a follow attempt. He made his free free throw but missed the second only to have Cambron grab the rebound and score to make it 14-6.

The Stingers were then unable to get the ball to midcourt within the allotted 10 seconds as the Hornets press produced another turnover and Sheridan called timeout.

Marcus Wilson. (photo by Rick Nation)

When play resumed, Luke Rayburn made a steal and, again, Davis hit the offensive glass for a trip to the line where he converted once.

Sheridan finally broke a long dry spell when Nathan Ware drove to the rack for a layup but, at the other end, Neale grabbed an offensive rebound and scored. Following a Sheridan miss, Wilson canned a 12-footer and, in the closing seconds of the half, Davis made a steal and layup that made it 21-8 at the break.

“Strodney came in there and really played well for us,” Coach Wilson said. “I thought he provided a little spark, gave us some more quickness on the floor. And that’s what we needed tonight. I thought Leon came in there too. Zach was playing an inspired game.

“We were a little slow, then when we got a second group in there, they looked a little lost tonight which is unusual,” he observed. “A couple of times in the first half, we looked lost trying to run our plays, lining up in our spots and stuff. We just looked confused but we finally picked it up off the defense and that’s where we started scoring our points.”

Sheridan came out in the second half and went toe-to-toe with the Hornets, whittling the lead to 10 at one point, thanks to an Adam Mote 3-pointer.

Bell drove for a layup in response but John Strange hit a free throw and the Stingers forced a turnover only to have a technical foul called against one of their players. Wilson hit one of the free throws and Bryant closed out the third quarter with a 7-0 run that extended to 11-0 early in the final period before Sheridan could score again.

By then, the game was pretty much decided.

Bryant not only forced 24 Sheridan turnovers but out-rebounded the Stingers 32-25 with 19 rebounds coming on the offensive end.


Score by quarters

Sheridan 6 2 8 3 — 19

BRYANT 3 18 13 4 — 38


Perez 2-4 0-0 4, Mote 2-5 0-0 5, Pritchett 1-2 0-0 2, Strange 0-3 1-2 1, Alonzo 1-8 0-0 2, Bean 0-3 0-0 0, Bowlin 0-1 0-0 0, Hollinger 1-3 0-0 3, Wadley 1-4 0-0 2, Fitzgerald 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 8-33 1-2 19.


Bell 3-8 3-4 9, Wilson 3-9 3-4 9, Hall 0-4 0-0 0, Workman 1-3 0-0 2, Cambron 5-11 0-1 10, Neale 2-3 0-0 4, Jo.Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Privett 0-0 0-0 0, Rayburn 0-0 0-0 0, S.Davis 1-5 2-4 4, Hewitt 0-0 0-0 0, McKissock 0-0 0-0 0, Salas 0-0 0-0 0, Ja.Davis 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-44 8-13 38.

Three-point field goals: Sheridan 2-15 (Mote 1-4, Hollinger 1-2, Bean 0-3, Alonzo 0-3, Wadley 0-2, Bowlin 0-1), Bryant 0-8 (Wilson 0-5, Hall 0-2, Cambron 0-1). Rebounds: Sheridan 25 (Strange 8), Bryant 32 (Cambron 11, Workman 5). Turnovers: Sheridan 24, Bryant 15. Team fouls: Sheridan 14, Bryant 10. Technical foul: Sheridan, Perez. 

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