Freshman Hornets surge past Panthers into finals

PEARCY — Gabe George poured in 26 points as the Bryant Hornets freshman team surged past the rival Benton Panthers to advance to the championship game of the annual Kameron Hale Invitational Tournament at Lake Hamilton High School with a 56-43 win on Friday.

The Hornets will take on host Lake Hamilton in the title game at 5:15 p.m., in the Lake Hamilton Arena. It’s a rematch of a game earlier this season in which Lake Hamilton edged the Hornets 45-43.

“We started the game very slow and Benton made some good shots,” said Hornets coach Tyler Posey. “After a very slow first quarter, we picked up the press and the pace and closed the lead within the first two minutes of the second.”

Benton led 11-4 at the end of the first quarter but Bryant surged to a 28-20 lead by halftime.

“After a couple of big shots from Gabe George, we had a 5-point lead and then a big stop on defense and a big rebound by Demetrius Sanders. Gave hit another 3 to close out the half.

“Continuing our pressure, we built a 20-point lead in the third with some big minutes from Josh Mendoza,” the coach added.

George was named the game’s MVP.

Landyn Newburn added 9 points and Mendoza had 8. 

Bryant led 43-27 going into the fourth quarter.

The Hornets improved to 9-3 on the season with the victory.

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