Hornets freshmen win tourney opener over Lakeside in dramatic fashion

PEARCY — Aaron Bell’s lone basket against the Hot Springs Lakeside Junior Rams came at an opportune time for the Bryant Hornets freshman team on Wednesday. It snapped a 29-29 tie and, along with a late free throw by Marcus Wilson, provided the winning margin in a 32-30 thriller.

The Hornets, who improved to 8-3 on the season, advance to play Central Arkansas Christian in the semifinals of the Kameron Hale Memorial Invitational Tournament at Lake Hamilton on Thursday at 4:15 p.m. The winner will advance to Saturday’s championship game at 6:45. The loser will play in the third-place game at 4:15 p.m.[more]

Bryant didn’t show much rust to start the game after being idle since Dec. 14. The Hornets built a 13-6 lead in the first quarter and held a 20-16 edge at the half. But they were held to just 2 points in the third quarter as Lakeside surged to a 25-22 lead going into the fourth quarter.

That trend changed early in the final period.

“We scored once or twice and got into our press,” noted Bryant coach Steve Wilson. “I thought our press towards the end was close to getting some turnovers. We didn’t really get set up in it since we only scored once in the third quarter.

“(Lakeside) kind of got us and we got that little look of fear in our face and got back on our heels with straight legs,” he added of the third quarter. “But we finally came out of that with a little bit of fire just in time there at the end.

“We got some good looks throughout the game but they kind of quite falling,” Wilson noted.

Riley Hall led the Hornets with 9 points. Wilson finished with 6 and Leon Neale had 4. Luke Rayburn, Scott Workman and Zach Cambron each contributed 3 with Bell and Strodney Davis pitching in with 2 apiece.

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