Hornets’ comeback keeps them sharing league lead
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
SHERIDAN — Coming into Tuesday night’s AAAAA-South Conference game at Sheridan, Jeremy Reeves had hit 27 consecutive free throws. He missed his first shot from the line that night and a couple more along the way. But, when he and his team really needed them, Reeves came through. With :04.6 to go, Reeves connected twice at the line to seal a 51-48 victory.
Bryant retained a share of first place in the league with the victory and improved to 13-7 overall. The Hornets are tied with El Dorado, a 57-49 victor over Pine Bluff, and Camden Fairview. Pine Bluff and Lake Hamilton trailed the trio of teams by one game. Lake Hamilton visits Bryant Friday.
The Hornets came alarmingly close to a little déjà vu. On Jan. 15, they became the first conference victim for the Texarkana Razorbacks, who came into their game with a 1-14 overall mark. Sheridan came into Tuesday’s contest with an 0-7 conference slate, 2-17 overall yet led for much of the game.
Reeves’ last free throws had to be a relief for the senior. Moments before, he had fouled Sheridan’s Phillip Monk on a 3-point attempt. At the time, Bryant led 48-45. But Monk hit all three free throws to tie it with :18 left.
Sheridan then showed its youth. (The Yellowjackets have five sophomores that play key roles.) Point guard Simon Romine, who had had a big hand in Sheridan’s early lead, fouled Bryant’s Dwayne Chumley near midcourt with :14 to go. Chumley snapped the tie with one free throw but missed the second leaving the door open for Sheridan.
But the Yellowjackets turned the ball over. Troy Campbell drove into the lane, drew the defense and tried to dump off to Lance Clary on the baseline. The pass slipped through Clary’s hands and out of bounds.
Reeves was fouled on the inbounds play. But even after he gave the Hornets their three-point lead, Sheridan managed to get a decent shot at a tie but Aaron Sites missed a long 3 and the Hornets survived.
It may have been too easy early for Bryant. They pushed to a 9-2 lead off the bat and appeared to be able to do whatever they wanted on offense. After a timeout, however, Sheridan put together a 13-0 surge that included a 3-pointer by Chase Buie who also contributed an old-fashioned three-point play, and two treys by Romine.
Reeves hit one of two free throws in the final minute and the Hornets trailed 15-10.
Fortunately for Bryant, Sheridan failed to cash in on a few opportunities along the way but they still sustained the lead, eventually building it to 22-13.
The Hornets did not convert a field goal attempt in the second quarter. All eight of their points came at the free-throw line — they were 8 of 12 in the period with the misses including a pair of one-and-one front ends.
Campbell hit a 30-footer at the buzzer to make it an 8-point game.
It was a different Bryant team that started the second half, in more ways than one. Starters Josh Ridge and Jaston Carter were on the bench to start. Ridge was trying to play despite illness and just couldn’t go in the second half. Carter was plagued by foul trouble.
Junior center Kyle Lynch started the second half and contributed valuable rebounding, defense and a basket early in the Hornets’ comeback. Reeves started things with a layup then Lynch scored inside. Chumley softly banked a nice running jumper from the wing and suddenly Sheridan’s lead was just 2.
After a Jackets’ timeout, Lynch hauled down a rebound off a Sheridan miss and Reeves hit a running jumper to tie it.
Sites untied it with a 3 but, at the other end, B.J. Wood answered in kind to knot it at 29.
It stayed that way for awhile. Finally, Scott Yant made a steal for the Hornets and Benny Elder was fouled inside. His free throws snapped the tie with 1:13 left in the third quarter. After Reeves absorbed a charge, Elder again scored inside.
Bryant led 33-31 going into the fourth quarter but a three-point play by Buie regained the lead for Sheridan.
The Hornets took it back when Carter was fouled on a shot and Sheridan was hit with a technical. On a night when the Hornets were 19 of 31 from the line, Carter hit four free throws to give his team a lead that they held until Monk’s tying freebies.
Reeves finished with 16 points to lead all scorers. Chumley added 13.
For Sheridan, Monk finished with 12 and Buie 10. The Hornets (and foul trouble) limited Sheridan’s top scorer Nick Baker to just 2 points.