December 12 in Bryant athletic history: 2009

Lairy provides last-second heroics this time as Hornets clip ‘Clones

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, will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).

RUSSELLVILLE — K-Ron Lairy kissed a running floater off the glass for a basket with :02.3 left to play to snap a 36-36 tie as the Bryant Hornets outlasted their 7A-Central Conference rival Russellville Cyclones in the consolation finals of the Cyclone Classic on Saturday evening.

Lairy added a pair of free throws with :00.8 showing after Russellville received a technical foul for calling a timeout that it didn’t have, making Bryant a 40-36 winner.[more]

The Hornets, thus, finished 2-1 at the tourney at Russellville High and take a 5-3 record into Tuesday’s game when they play for the first time this season at home. Sheridan, which wound up the runner-up at the Classic, will be visiting that night.

Whether it was the fact that both the Hornets and the Cyclones were playing their third game in as many days or that the Hornets were experiencing an emotional letdown after their nail-biter of a win in overtime on Friday against Camden Fairview or maybe the fact that the only two Class 7A schools involved in the tourney were left playing for fifth place, neither was sharp nor emotional at the beginning of the game.

(By the way, the team from the smallest school in the tournament, Subiaco Academy wound up winning the Classic with double-digit wins over Arkadelphia, Fairview and Sheridan.)

As a matter of fact, neither Bryant nor Russellville scored four nearly six minutes. Finally, Russellville’s Parnell Webb hit a 3-pointer with just 2:04 left in the opening period to break the ice. About a minute later, Webb scored again to give the Cyclones a 5-0 lead.

And that was the score at the end of the first quarter.

Bryant actually went 9:30 into the game before getting on the board with a 3-pointer from the left corner by senior Dontay Renuard. Incredibly, despite that, the Hornets were right in the game, trailing 5-3.

Russellville built the margin to 9-5 before Renuard hit another trey with 2:35 left in the half then neither team could change the 9-8 score that held at the break.

So when Brandon Parish started the third-quarter scoring with a 3-pointer, Bryant had its first lead.

And things heated up for both teams offensively.

Russellville’s Eric Turner, a sophomore starting for his injuried older brother, connected on a 3 in answer to Parish. Turner would hit five from long range in the half, accounting for his team-high 15 points which kept the Cyclones in the game.

But Lairy, who would lead all scorers with 20 points, drained a trey and, after a Russellville timeout, swiped a pass and drove for a layup as he was fouled.

Though he missed the subsequent free throw, he’d given the Hornets a 16-12 advantage.

After a Russellville miss, Renuard hit a layup off a drive to the hoop and, moments later, Lairy drove into the lane and hit a jumper that gave Bryant a 20-12 advantage, as large a lead as the Hornets would enjoy in the game.

“We picked up a little intensity and we started pushing the ball a little bit,” explained Hornets coach Ron Marvel regarding the improved play in the second half. “We started pushing it down the floor because we were just walking it down (before). We were very unemotional. We weren’t into the ballgame at all. We thought if we pressed them too we might get the kids excited a little bit and I think it worked for us for a short period there. Then we made a couple of turnovers where we just pitched them the ball. We were in control of the game and, after that, they were right back in the ballgame.”

The Hornets led 23-15 before that series of events unfolded. Turner hit a 3 and was fouled, though he missed the chance to make it a 4-point play. And, in the final minute, Webb knocked down a 3 to get Russellville back within 25-21 going into the fourth quarter.

Parish fed Kendall Butzlaff for a basket to start the fourth quarter and, after the Hornets solved Russellville’s switch to a half-court trap, Renuard scored off the offensive glass to bump the margin back up to 29-21.

But by the 2:48 mark, the Cyclones had whittled the margin back to 5. The Hornets spread the floor to try to get Russellville out of its zone but the Cyclones went back to the trap. Renuard drove to the hoop but was called for a charge with 1:41 left and the Cyclones took advantage when Damarius Neal, the tight end of the RHS football team, muscled for an offensive rebound and scored to trim the margin to 4.

Lairy converted both ends of a one-and-one with 1:21 left only to have Turner flush a 3 and, after a missed opportunity at the line by the Hornets, Neal stepped outside and buried a triple that tied the game with :45 on the clock.

The Hornets called timeout with :35.8 to go then worked the clock down to :11.2 before Marvel called another timeout to set up the final play in much the same way they did in Friday’s win over Fairview.

But with Russellville still in the zone, the strategy had to be different. Still, the Hornets all went to the left-side of the lane, opening up some space for Lairy to drive the right side for the go-ahead bucket.

Russellville called a timeout then deployed against the Bryant press. After seeing how the Hornets were going to play it, the Cyclones called another timeout apparently not getting the message during the previous break that they’d used their last. Lairy converted, the Hornets inbounded the ball and escaped with the win.

“It was one of the worst games we’ve played and we came out with a win,” Marvel stated. “We’ve played a couple of pretty good games that we’ve lost. Tonight, we probably didn’t deserve to win and we did. People say things even out and I guess this was one of those games where we got some evening out.

“We did find a way to win and that’s a good sign,” he acknowledged. “We did stay focused at the end. We’re pleased. It’s always nice to win and we know we’re going to face Russellville two more times this year so that should help us because we should know what to expect from them next time.”


Score by quarters

BRYANT 0 8 17 15 — 40

Russellville 5 4 12 15 — 36


Player fg-fga ft-fta reb fls pts


Lairy 7-14 5-6 2-3 5 1 20

Parish 1-2 0-1 2-4 6 1 3

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

Hampton 1-3 1-1 0-6 6 3 3

Renuard 5-11 0-0 1-2 3 2 12

McLaughlin 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

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

Rayburn 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Team 0-1 1

Total 15-35 6-8 7-20 27 10 40


Player fg-fga ft-fta reb fls pts


Webb 3-9 2-2 0-1 1 4 10

Washington1-6 0-0 1-3 4 1 2

Turner 5-12 0-1 1-3 4 0 15

Robinson 1-4 2-4 0-1 1 4 4

Heilman 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 0 0

Barrett 0-4 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Woerner 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 0 0

George 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Neal 2-2 0-0 2-3 5 1 5

Team 3-1 4

Total 12-37 4-7 7-14 21 11 36

Three-point field goals: Bryant 4-16 (Renuard 2-8, Lairy 1-6, Parish 1-1, Rayburn 0-1), Russellville 8-26 (Turner 5-12, Webb 2-7, Neal 1-1, Washington 0-5, Barrett 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 13, Russellville 12. Technical foul: Russellville bench (timeout).

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