By Rob Patrick
CABOT — Between hot defense and cold shooting, the Cabot North Junior Panthers didn’t reach[more] double figures on the scoreboard until the final minute of Monday’s game against the Bryant Hornets freshman team.
The Hornets held the Panthers to just 19 percent shooting from the field (5 of 27) on the way to a 32-12 victory.
Now 11-4 overall, the Hornets are 1-0 in Central Arkansas Junior High Conference play. They are at home against Benton on Thursday, riding a five-game win streak.
K.J. Hill scored a game-high 9 points with four assists. Brandan Warner, J.C. Newborn and Ryan Hall each added 7. John Winn had 2 to go with four rebounds and three steals.
Newborn got free inside for Bryant’s first two baskets, the first off a dish from Hill, the second off a feed from Winn. But a pair of hoops by Cabot’s Gavin Tillery had the game tied at 4.
The Hornets skewered the Panthers’ press for another easy 2 by Newborn off another assist by Hill then Winn made a steal and layup to make it 8-4. The Hornets jumped into their own press and another turnover led to a layup by Warner that made it a 6-point game going into the second quarter.
Tillery scored off a high-low feed from Tristan Hammon to start the second in the new period but that proved to be the last field goal by the Panthers until Drake Brooks grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with :54 left in the game.
By then, the Hornets had built a 32-8 advantage with the only points by Cabot North coming on free throws by Monte Childress in the third quarter and Hammon in the fourth.
Warner fed Hall for a layup and Hill scored off a turnover as Bryant took a 14-6 lead into intermission.
Hill’s kickout to Warner for a 3 started the second half scoring. Childress and Newborn traded free throws then Bryant proceeded to break the game completely. Hill got a layup off a steal and Warner scored off a drive. Hall’s 3-point play and a drive to the rack by Hill made it 27-7 going into the fourth quarter.
A free throw by Hill and another layup off a steal after Hammon’s free throw was followed by another bucket inside by Hall to make it 32-8.
With only eight players available, Bryant head coach Jim Pennington subbed as he could in the final period but the Panthers were still unable to score until Brooks and Cody Harvey hit shots in the final minute.
JUNIOR HORNETS 32, JUNIOR PANTHERS 12
Score by quarters
BRYANT 10 4 13 5 — 32
Cabot North 4 2 1 5 — 12
JUNIOR HORNETS 32
Hill 4-10 1-2 9, Warner 3-9 0-0 7, Newborn 3-5 1-2 7, Winn 1-2 0-0 2, Hall 3-4 1-1 7, Withers 0-0 0-0 0, Green 0-0 0-0 0, Fisher 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 14-32 3-5 32.
JUNIOR PANTHERS 12
Childress 0-5 1-2 1, Dollarhide 0-1 0-0 0, Shillcutt 0-3 0-0 0, Hammon 0-7 1-2 1, Tillery 3-5 0-2 6, Marsh 0-0 0-2 0, Sowell 0-4 0-0 0, Harvey 1-1 0-0 2, Brooks 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 5-27 2-8 12.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 1-6 (Warner 1-4, Hill 0-1, Winn 0-1), Cabot North 0-10 (Sowell 0-4, Shillcutt 0-3, Childress 0-2, Dollarhide 0-1). Rebounds: Bryant 23 (Newborn 6, Hall 5), Cabot North 21 (Tillery 9). Turnovers: Bryant 6, Cabot North 9. Team fouls: Bryant 5, Cabot North 4.