Focused Hornets overwhelm Sheridan
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
The Hope Bobcats and the Hamburg Lions did the Sheridan Yellowjackets no favor.
The Yellowjackets, struggling through a rebuilding season at 2-10, came into their AAAAA-South Conference opener at Bryant off losses to Mayflower and Bigelow. So the league schedule offered a chance at a new beginning. Still, their best chance to beat the Bryant Hornets figured to be to sneak up on them, to get over-looked by a over-confident Bryant team that might be looking past them to a Jan. 11 showdown with defending conference champion El Dorado.
The Hornets were on a roll going into the Christmas break with big wins over highly-regarded teams from Lake Hamilton and Jacksonville. Then, at the Fouke Coker Classic, they defeated another from New Albany, Miss. With wins over Hope and Hamburg, the Hornets would’ve had a seven-game win streak going which, perhaps, would’ve made them take Sheridan lightly.
But the Hornets were upended by Hope, a good undefeated team, and Hamburg, losses that only proved to heighten the Hornets’ resolve and focus. They were primed for Friday’s game, much to the Yellowjackets’ misfortune.
In a game that was close for about half of the first quarter, the Hornets improved to 2-0 in league play with a 74-44 thrashing of their rivals from Sheridan.
Jeremy Reeves scored 23 points, Benny Elder 19 and Jaston Carter 10 and everybody played for the Hornets.
A 12-1 run in the second quarter blew open the game but the Hornets gained the upper hand right off the bat with Reeves and Josh Ridge scoring the first 10 points. Sheridan was able to stay with the Hornets thanks to 3-pointers by Simon Romine and Lance Clary. Bryant led 10-9 when Reeves fed Elder for a basket, Carter got free for a layup then made a steal and fed Reeves for two more points and a 16-9 advantage.
Nick Baker, who led Sheridan with 10 points, managed a basket inside but Reeves canned a baseline jumper, Elder sank a free throw and Carter, off a sweet feed from point guard Dwayne Chumley, hit a layup to make it 21-11 at the end of the period.
A steal by Scott Yant was cashed in by Elder off a nice dish from B.J. Wood and, after Sheridan’s Aaron Sites bombed in a 3, the Hornets were off and running again.
Chumley sliced through the Jackets’ defense with another eye-popping feed to Reeves for an easy deuce, then Sheridan was hit with a technical foul for inserting a player that wasn’t on the roster. Reeves hit a free throw and, on the subsequent possession, hit another jumper from the baseline to make it 28-14.
A pair of free throws by Elder, another Sheridan turnover and another bucket inside by Elder increased the margin to 18.
The Jackets’ Cody Williams hit a free throw to briefly interrupt the Bryant run but it continued moments later when Carter found Elder open inside for another bucket from close range. And when Carter hit a free throw, Bryant’s lead was commanding 35-15.
The lead reached 23 before Sheridan’s Ian Cox hit a layup to beat the buzzer, making it 40-19 at the break.
In the third quarter, Sheridan managed to trim the margin to 17 but that’s as close as it would get. Simon Romine’s three-point play off a steal and layup had the Jackets within 45-28 with 3:54 left in the third period, but Ridge answered with a 3-point splash, Elder made a steal and Reeves hit a pair of free throws. Reeves added two more hoops, the second off a splendid feed from Yant, as the lead ballooned to 54-28 with 2:29 left.
After a Sheridan timeout, Troy Campbell hit a 3-pointer but the Hornets revved it up again. The quarter ended with a layup off a steal by Yant, making it 60-31. The fourth quarter started with a layup by Elder with Chumley getting another assist and Bryant’s advantage was 31.
Reserves finished the up the game. Juniors Kyle Lynch and Andrew Davasher each had 4 points down the stretch as they preserved the massive lead.