Home-standing Hurricane hold off Hornets

JONESBORO — The Jonesboro Hurricane is the two-time defending Class 6A State champion and they have a lot of talent back. So, playing them on their home court with a young team in your third game of the season, is a tough assignment for anyone.

But the Bryant Hornets held their own and, though they lost 69-58 in the second round of the annual Barry Pruitt Hurricane Classic, head coach Mike Abrahamson saw some positives beginning to develop.

“Jonesboro, they’ve got size. They’ve got a nice inside game and those guys are surrounded by some shooters,” Abrahamson observed. “It’s hard to take away all of it. And no one player for Jonesboro really killed us. They had a balanced attack and they were tough to deal with.

“We kind of got better as the game went on, I thought,” he added. “We were down the whole game, but it never got away from us. Our kids battled to the very end and I think, it looks like maybe we’re taking steps, growing up right in front of me.

“I hope that’s the case,” the coach asserted. “Playing against a bigger, stronger, older team, it was, hopefully, a good experience for us even though it didn’t go our way.”

The Hurricane established a 17-10 lead by the end of the first quarter and held a 33-22 edge at halftime. It was 51-36 going into the fourth.

Khalen Robinson led the Hornets with 18 points. Treylon Payne had 14 and Rodney Lambert 10. Camren Hunter contributed 9 with Colby Washington adding 6 and A.J. Jenkins 2.

Keyln McBride hit four 3-pointers for Jonesboro and finished with a team-high 16 points. Shamari Milton added 15. Mercedus Leech hit three triples and had 13.

The Hurricane advance to play North Little Rock in the championship game of the tourney. Bryant will wrap up its stay against Nettleton at 3 p.m., then head home. Their next outing will be Tuesday  at 7:45 p.m., against Malvern in the opening round of the 11thannual Petit Jean Meats Classic in Morrilton.

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