Hot shooting early and late by Wolves too much for Hornets

By Rob Patrick

PEARCY — The best-case scenario for the Bryant Hornets on Tuesday night at Lake Hamilton would’ve been a continuation or a building-upon their inspired four-overtime win over Wynne in their last outing at the Searcy Bank Tournament.

Unfortunately, such was not the case.[more]

Of course, it didn’t help that the Wolves started the game aflame. They hit their first six shots from the field including a pair of 3’s and converted 9 of 11 during a 21-point first quarter that the Hornets never could overcome.

Lake Hamilton, closing about as well as it started, pinned a 59-44 loss on Bryant. Despite finishing with reserves, the Wolves hit 67 percent of their shots (26 of 39) from the field. The five Lake Hamilton starters combined to go 22 of 28 from the field, a scorching 79 percent.

It may be a bit telling for the Hornets that Lake Hamilton, playing at home, attempted just two free throws.

Bryant, meanwhile, led 2-0 after two free throws by K Ron Lairy then didn’t score again until Dontay Renuard hit a 3 from the corner four minutes into the game. By then, the Wolves had built a 12-2 lead.

It was 21-7 going into the second quarter. (Quinton Motto had scored inside for the Hornets along the way.) To open the second period, Renuard drained another 3 only to have Christian Anglin answer from long range. Roy Hurst converted the lone Lake Hamilton free throw then Benson Jordan connected on a 3 to make it 28-10.

To their credit, the Wolves were setting up the 3 nicely by penetrating the Bryant defense and kicking the ball outside for an open look. The result was a 6-for-9 performance from 3-point range just in the first half.

Bryant, meanwhile, was working the ball around the perimeter of the Wolves’ 1-3-1 half court zone with little penetration. They shot 14 3’s in the first half and made just three. But the Hornets could only get a pair of 2-point shots to go.

Lake Hamilton led 33-17.

In the second half, the Hornets started getting post player K.J. Hampton involved. The result was a run that got them back into the game.

It was still 39-21 with 5:26 left in the third quarter. After a timeout, Hampton hit the offensive glass for a bucket and the Hornets forced a turnover that Lairy cashed in with a 3. Anglin misfired for the Wolves and, at the other end, Hampton grabbed another offensive rebound, scored and was fouled. Though he missed the free throw the Hornets were back within 39-28.

And they would eventually get closer. Andrew Klatt broke a 4:30 dry spell for the Wolves but, moments later, he went down with an ankle injury and lost the ball to Lairy who took off for the other end as Klatt lay on the floor in pain. By rule, Lairy was free to drive to the other end and score. Play was not supposed to stop while the other team has an advantage in the normal flow of the game.

Anglin, however, grabbed Lairy’s jersey to keep him from driving to the other end for a basket and he was cited for an intentional foul. So, the Hornets got two free throws for Lairy and possession of the ball.

Lairy converted twice then, on the subsequent possession, Hampton hit a reverse layup. So, with 1:00 left in the third quarter, the Hornets had cut the lead to less than double digits.

And when they forced another Lake Hamilton turnover, Brandon Parish drove into the lane and made a nice dish to Connor Rayburn for a basket. The margin was down to 41-34. Hunter Scott misfired for the Wolves and the Hornets had a chance to get closer before the end of the quarter only to turn the ball over with :02.9 showing.

Still, they went into the final quarter having trimmed an 18-point lead to 7 and they were set to get the ball.

Lairy drove but had his shot rejected by the 6-5 Josh Fortner. Hampton grabbed the rebound but his shot got caught between the rim and the backboard and, on the alternating possessions, Lake Hamilton was awarded the ball.

Against Bryant pressure, Fortner got back for a layup. Moments later, Cody Jackson did the same to make it 45-34.

After a timeout with 7:00 left, Hampton came up lame. He would not return and, at the end of the game, limped to the locker room with an ice pack on his left knee. He had scored 10 of his 12 points in the third quarter rally.

The Bryant offense began to struggle again the the Wolves caught fire once more, aided this time by layups as they beat the Bryant press. The lead grew to as much as 20 down the stretch. Fortner and Jackson each wound up scoring 16 points. Along with Hampton, Lairy had 12 for Bryant, Renuard 8.

Bryant will try to get back on track Thursday when they open play in a tournament in Russellville with a 4 p.m. game against Arkadelphia.


Score by quarters

BRYANT 7 10 17 10 — 44

Lake Hamilton 21 12 8 18 — 59


Player fg-fga ft-fta reb fls pts


Lairy 3-20 4-5 0-3 3 2 12

Parish 2-8 2-2 1-1 2 0 6

Renuard 2-9 2-2 3-2 5 3 8

Butzlaff 0-2 0-0 2-1 3 0 0

Hampton 5-7 2-3 3-3 6 1 12

Motto 1-3 1-2 3-1 4 0 3

Rayburn 1-3 0-0 0-1 1 1 2

Cozart 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Garner 0-0 1-3 1-0 1 0 1

Team 3-0 3

Totals 14-54 12-17 16-12 28 8 44


Player fg-fga ft-fta reb fls pts


Klatt 3-3 0-0 0-1 1 2 6

Anglin 2-3 0-0 0-1 1 2 6

Dunn 2-3 0-0 1-3 4 3 5

Jackson 7-9 0-0 1-0 1 1 16

Fortner 8-10 0-0 0-7 7 2 16

Hurst 0-1 1-2 0-4 4 2 1

Porter 1-3 0-0 0-1 1 1 2

Jordan 1-3 0-0 0-5 5 1 3

Meeks 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 2

Tilley 0-0 0-0  0-0 0 0 0

Turner 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Scott 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 0 0

Jessup 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 2

Easter 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Team 0-1 1

Totals 26-39 1-2 2-24 26 15 59

Three-point field goals: Bryant 4-23 (Lairy 2-9, Renuard 2-8, Parish 0-4, Rayburn 0-1, Cozart 0-1), Lake Hamilton 6-13 (Anglin 2-3, Jackson 2-3, Jordan 1-3, Dunn 1-1, Fortner 0-1, Porter 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 7, Lake Hamilton 17. 

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