Hornets use eight 3’s, defense to subdue Rebels
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
By Rob Patrick
When all was said and done, Bryant Hornets head basketball coach Mike Abrahamson’s first topic[more] of comment wasn’t his team’s 56 points or the eight 3-pointers the team combined on. It wasn’t the fact that the Hornets had held the Fort Smith Southside Rebels to 39 percent shooting from the field while forcing 21 turnovers.
No, it was the fact that the Hornets took three charges on their way to the 56-38 win. Junior Greyson Giles, sophomore Ryan Hall and senior Zach Cambron each absorbed a charge.
“The players haven’t been taking charges in practice and we’re not a shot blocking team,” Abrahamson said. “We keep drilling it and we keep doing what we normally do to promote that and they were just not doing it. I’m thinking they’re not buying into it, they think they’re shot blockers. We still had a little of that but I was really proud of the defensive effort, especially the second half.”
The win was the second of the season for the Hornets but the first with the full team on the floor including former football players, Giles, Hall and K.J. Hill.
“You can see it’s not as comfortable as it’s going to be later on,” Abrahamson commented. “K.J.’s just learning on the fly. Greyson knows a little bit more because of last year. Ryan, we had to throw him in there, which I don’t mind doing, but he just still doesn’t really know exactly what to do and where to go.”
Actually, toward the end of the Hornets’ 2011-12 run to the semifinals of the Class 7A State Tournament last spring, Giles had worked his way into the rotation as a sophomore swing man.
This year, Giles wound up making a big splash in his debut — as in “splashing” 3-point shots. He flushed a trio of them in the first half to help the Hornets establish a lead over the Rebels and wound up scoring a game-high 16 points.
Tyler Simmons and C.J. Rainey added 11 points each, Cambron and Hill pitched in with 6 apiece. Skylar McKissock finished with 5 and Luke Rayburn 1.
“I was pleased, really pleased with our effort and the entire team including the bench was into it,” Abrahamson said. “I thought we played really hard. I was really proud.
“It wasn’t perfect but we’re going to try to learn from this just as much as we learn from a loss or any other game and just keep moving forward,” he continued. “What I told our team is I can tell that they were trying to do everything they’ve been coached to do and, if that’s the case and they’re playing really hard, then I’m really encouraged by that. It’s a sign to go forward and to build on and get better. I hope we’re nowhere near what we’re going to be in February. If that’s the case, we’re at a pretty good starting point.”
Admittedly, Southside isn’t the team it’ll wind up being. The Rebels’ football team is still battling in the Class 7A State playoffs with five or six players that will probably be major contributors on the court. But it’s a solid program, making it a quality win of Bryant.
Southside’s lone lead of the game was 4-3 after Chris Moore downed a 3 at the five-minute mark of the first quarter. That’s when Giles popped his first triple, giving the Hornets the lead for good. His second bomb was the next basket of the game and, at the other end, he drew a charge on a drive by Southside’s Grant Higgins. Hill took advantage with a drive to the rack for his first points of the season and an 11-4 Bryant lead.
Moore, who finished with a team-high 13 points, hit his second 3 and Mitchell Spradlin followed up with a jump hook to cut the margin to 11-9 going into the second quarter.
It was never that close again, however, after Rainey started the second quarter with a 3. Hall, playing in the post because of foul trouble for Cambron and junior Brian Reed, absorbed a charge, eventually leading to another drive by Hill that made it 16-9 and moved Southside head coach Charles Cooper to call timeout.
When play resumed, however, the Rebels turned the ball over on consecutive trips. The Hornets didn’t take advantage of the first but, after the second, Giles drilled his third 3 to make it 19-9, the first double-digit lead of the game, with 5:23 left in the half.
Though a late surge by the Rebels including a long 3 at the buzzer by Higgins, cut Bryant’s lead to 27-22 at the half, the Hornets came out in the third quarter with a game-breaking 15-4 run.
Cambron started it with a bucket inside then Rainey scored on a drive up the baseline. Cambron took a charge on a drive by Southside’s Andrew Hindman and Hill stopped and popped on a drive up the baseline to make it 33-22. Cambron’s stickback was answered by Spradlin, who provided the Rebels’ first field goal of the second half at the 4:01 mark. Simmons drained a 3 to push the lead to 14. He would then add a free throw after a Southside miss.
Baker Jones countered with a bucket inside but Rainey trumped that with his second troika and a 16-point advantage, 42-26.
The Hornets led 44-30 going into the fourth quarter and eventually led by as much as 18 when McKissock knocked down a 3 and followed with a driving layup with 4:42 left to play.
The Hornets return to action on Thursday, Nov. 29, against Little Rock Catholic in the first round of the Ortho Arkansas Invitational Tournament at Central Arkansas Christian Academy.
HORNETS 56, REBELS 38
Score by quarters
FS Southside 9 13 8 8 — 38
BRYANT 11 16 17 12 — 56
Player fg-fga ft-fta reb fls pts
Higgins 1-2 0-0 0-1 1 3 3
Hindman 2-5 2-4 1-2 3 4 7
Spradlin 4-8 1-2 3-6 9 0 9
Rice 1-3 0-2 1-4 5 3 2
Harpeneau 0-1 2-2 0-1 1 2 2
Glidewell 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Jones 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 1 2
Nguyen 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Harper 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Team 1-2 3
Totals 14-36 5-10 7-20 27 17 38
Player fg-fga ft-fta reb fls pts
Rainey 4-6 1-2 0-2 2 0 11
Simmons 3-8 3-4 0-4 4 2 11
Giles 4-9 5-7 1-1 2 4 16
Reed 0-1 0-0 1-3 4 2 0
Cambron 3-5 0-0 1-2 3 2 6
McKissock 2-3 0-0 1-0 1 1 5
Hill 3-7 0-0 0-2 2 3 6
Davis 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Hall 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 2 0
Rayburn 0-2 1-2 0-0 0 0 1
Strain 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 1 0
Team 2-1 3
Totals 19-42 10-15 6-17 23 17 56
Three-point field goals: FS Southside 5-12 (Moore 3-5, Hindman 1-3, Higgins 1-2, Thomas 0-1, Glidewell 0-1), Bryant 8-20 (Giles 3-7, Simmons 2-6, Rainey 2-3, McKissock 1-2, Rayburn 0-1, Strain 0-1). Turnovers: FS Southside 21, Bryant 12. Technical fouls: Bryant, Giles.