Hornets freshmen hold off Stingers for 41-37 win

By Rob Patrick

SHERIDAN — The Bryant Hornets freshman basketball team converted just enough free throws down the stretch to escape Sheridan with a 41-37 win over the pesky Stingers. Adam Mote drilled six three-pointers including three early in the final period to fuel the Sheridan comeback that whittled a 9-point deficit starting the fourth quarter to a 3-point difference just over two minutes in.

But Sheridan could get no closer.

With the score 34-31 with 3:55 left to play, Leon Neale hit a free throw for the Hornets and, at the other end, Scott Workman blocked a shot by the Stingers Nathan Wadley.[more]

Though Bryant, subsequently, turned the ball over, Sheridan's John Strange was unable to get one of his two free throws to fall. Bryant's Aaron Bell grabbed the carom off the second miss and raced up the floor, going coast-to-coast for a layup. But when Nate Alonzo hit a short jumper with 1:37 left, Sheridan was back within 37-33.

The Hornets spread the floor and Bell converted two key free throws at the 1:06 mark. Sheridan missed two chances to answer as Mote's hot hand began to cool. Finally, Jamal Pritchett made a steal and drove for a layup to cut it to 4 again. But Marcus Wilson converted both ends of a bonus opportunity with :12.9 showing and the Hornets withstood a final basket by Mote, who finished with 23 points.

Eight of the 10 Hornets that played contributed to the team's scoring. Bell finished with 11, Workman 8. Wilson and Jared Hewitt had 4 each.

The win improved the Hornets to 13-5 overall, 6-3 in the South Division of the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference. Little Rock Catholic visits Bryant on Monday, Jan. 25.

Workman had all 8 of his points in the first half, helping the Hornets build a 21-13 lead.

It was 6-6 thanks to a Workman's three baskets and Mote's first pair of treys before, in the final 10 seconds, Neale took a feed from Wilson for a basket inside that gave Bryant the edge going into the second quarter.

Austin Bean hit the offensive glass and scored the first basket of the second period, tying the game. And when Mote hit a long 3, moments later, Sheridan had pulled out to an 11-8 advantage. But Bryant wound end the half on a 13-2 blitz. Riley Hall made a sweet pass to set up teammate Zach Cambron who started the surge for Bryant. Neale followed with a 10-foot jumper then a steal and a layup to make it 14-11. Sheridan turned the ball over but the Stingers' Carlos Perez made a steal and scored with 1:53 left in the half. But that was the last the Stingers would score in the period.

For Bryant, Strodney Davis and Workman each hit two free throws. Sheridan would eventually try to hold for a last shot but turned the ball over before it came, leaving Bryant :02.8 to work with along the baseline on the Hornets' offensive quarter. They worked an inbounds play to get an open look from the corner for Luke Rayburn, who drained the triple to make it 21-13 at the half.

Alonzo hit a free throw to start the second-half scoring. At the other end, Bell fed Hewitt for a layup but that was trumped by a 3 from Alonzo that made it 23-17. Mote was fouled on a 3-point try but wound up making just one of the free throws. Again, Bell snatched the rebound off the final miss and took it from one end to the other on the dribble for a basket. Mote and Hewitt traded baskets. Bell scored off a steal and the lead was 29-20.

Sheridan, which wound up 2 of 11 from the free-throw line in the game, missed four in the last 2:30 of the quarter as Bryant maintained a 29-20 lead.

Bell and Neale combined to force a turnover at the beginning of the fourth quarter and Bell cashed in with a 3-pointer.

That's when Mote started producing. He pounded in a 3 then, after a turnover, connected on another to make it 31-26.

Wilson pulled up and popped a 12-foot jumper for Bryant only to have Mote can another triple and, after a Bryant miss, Alonzo stepped out and knocked down a jumper inside the arc. That pulled the Stingers within, 34-31, as close as they would get.


Score by quarters

BRYANT 8 13 8 12 — 41

Sheridan 6 7 7 17 — 37


Rayburn 1-2 0-0 3, Bell 4-8 2-3 11, Hewitt 2-4 0-0 4, J.Davis 0-0 0-2 0, Workman 3-4 2-3 8, Hall 0-4 0-0 0, Wilson 1-1 2-4 4, S.Davis 0-1 2-2 2, Neale 3-5 1-2 7, Cambron 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 15-30 9-16 41.


Wadley 0-5 0-0 0, Mote 8-18 1-3 23, Alonzo 3-7 1-2 8, Pritchett 1-2 0-0 2, Strange 0-1 0-2 0, Dickerson 0-0 0-0 0, Whitman 0-1 0-0 0, Bean 1-1 0-2 2, Perez 1-4 0-0 2, Jordan 0-1 0-0 0, Bowlin 0-1 0-0 0, Fitzgerald 0-0 0-0 0, Simpson 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 14-41 2-11 37.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 2-7 (Rayburn 1-2, Bell 1-2, Hall 0-3), Sheridan 7-22 (Mote 6-15, Alonzo 1-5, Wadley 0-1, Jordan 0-1). Rebounds: Bryant 28 (Bell, J.Davis 4), Sheridan 23 (Strange 6). Turnovers: Bryant 20, Sheridan 12. Team fouls: Bryant 11, Sheridan 17. Fouled out: Sheridan, Perez.

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