Freshman Hornets put the clamps on Cabot South

By Rob Patrick

The Bryant Hornets freshman team held the Cabot South Panthers to just on field goal in each of the second and third quarters, part of a 21-4 run, on their way to a 43-20 victory in their final home game of the season on Thursday night.

The win improved the Hornets 16-6 overall and 9-4 in the South Division of the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference going into their final regular-season game at Benton on Monday, Feb. 8.[more]

Marcus Wilson and Aaron Bell were given the assignment of slowing down Cabot’s leading scorer Clayton Vaught. After getting 5 points in the first quarter, Vaught managed 6 the rest of the game.

“Our defense has been pretty strong,” stated Hornets coach Steve Wilson. “We knew who the key player was. We knew everything went through him. I thought both kids and our whole team did a good job of slowing him down. We probably let him score a little too much in the first half.”

Offensively, the Hornets had balanced scoring. Wilson uses two platoons of five players, particulary in the first half then mixes and matches more in the second half and nine of the 10 contributed to the scoring with Zach Cambron, a part of the starting five on this night, and Luke Rayburn, a member of the second group, each finishing with a team-high 9 points. Jalen Hewitt added 7, Strodney Davis and Bell 4 each, Riley Hall 3 with Wilson, Leon Neale and Scott Workman pitching in with 2 apiece.

As a team, the Hornets shot 57 percent from the field (17-of-30) while holding Cabot South to 27 percent (7 of 26).

The teams traded baskets through the first quarter with Bryant leading 9-8 at the break. To start the second period — and the subsequent game-breaking run — Hewitt named a 3. Rayburn made a steal that got him to the free-throw line where he converted his first shot. When he missed the second, Neale got to the carom and scored to make it 15-8.

Vaught followed with his team’s lone basket of the quarter with 2:15 left. Cambron took a lob inside and scored to set the halftime score at 17-10.

Hall’s 3 to start the third quarter gave the Hornets their first double-digit lead and forced a Cabot timeout. When play resumed the Panthers turned the ball over and Strodney Davis wove through the Cabot defense for a layup and when Wilson drove for another moments later, it was a 14-point lead.

Manny Ramirez hit a layup to beat the Bryant press to get the Panthers within 24-12, but that’s as close as they’d get the rest of the way.

Rayburn drove into the lane and popped a 10-foot jumper and Bryant held a 26-12 lead going into the final period.

Another drive to the rack by Rayburn and a short jumper by Bell off a nice feed from Wilson complete the Bryant blitz, making 30-12. Two free throws by Vaught broke his team’s drought but, for good measure, Rayburn trumped that with a 3-ball from the corner.

Cabot whittled it back to 15 but free throws by Rayburn and Cambron and a basket inside by Cambron off a dish from Hall countered that.

Before it was over, Workman and Hewitt added baskets and James Davis knocked down a free throw to set the final score, Bryant’s largest margin of the game.


Score by quarters

Cabot South 8 2 2 8 — 20

BRYANT 9 8 9 17 — 43


Stafford 2-3 0-0 5, Ramirez 1-3 0-1 2, Buckwalter 0-1 0-0 0, Boatright 0-4 2-2 2, Vaught 4-9 3-7 11, Weatherford 0-1 0-1 0, Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Hicks 0-2 0-0 0, Stroud 0-1 0-0 0, Plunkett 0-0 0-0 0, Billingsley 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 7-26 5-11 20.


S.Davis 2-3 0-0 4, Wilson 1-4 0-0 2, Hall 1-2 0-1 3, Neale 1-3 0-2 2, Cambron 3-4 3-3 9, Workman 1-1 0-0 2, Bell 2-3 0-0 4, Jo.Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Rayburn 3-5 2-4 9, Hewitt 3-4 0-1 7, Privett 0-0 0-0 0, Ja.Davis 0-1 1-2 1, Salas 0-0 0-0 0, McKissock 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-30 6-13 43.

Three-point field goals: Cabot South 1-10 (Stafford 1-2, Ramirez 0-3, Boatright 0-1, Weatherford 0-1, Jones 0-1, Billingsley 0-1), Bryant 3-10 (Rayburn 1-3, Hall 1-2, Hewitt 1-1, Wilson 0-3, Bell 0-1). Rebounds: Cabot South 13 (Vaught 4), Bryant 29 (Neale 5, Workman 4). Turnovers: Cabot South 9, Bryant 8. Team fouls: Cabot South 13, Bryant 14.

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