Morrilton brings anguished end to season for Hornets freshmen

By Rob Patrick

SHERIDAN — The Bryant Hornets freshman team’s 2009-10 season came to a harsh completion on Saturday morning in the first round of the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference tournament at Oliver Williams Gym.After leading most of the game, the Hornets fell victim to the Morrilton Devil Pups and some disheartening officiating decisions down the stretch in a 43-40 loss.

They finish the year 16-8.[more]

The finale came on the heels of another bitter defeat against arch-rival Benton in which, video confirmed, the Panthers’ timeout before their game-winning shot was one they didn’t have and should’ve put the Hornets on the line shooting free throws for a technical foul that would’ve added to their lead with the ensuing possession.

Though that game would not have affected their seeding — they’d still be the 4 seed playing Morrilton, the fifth seed out of the North Division — it certainly would’ve left them in a better frame of mind going into Saturday’s contest. Might it have been an edge that would’ve made up 3 points?

Who knows?

As it is, the Hornets wound up losing three of their last four games after a stretch in which they’d won five of six. (With a win at Benton they would’ve gone into Saturday’s game with six wins in the last seven.)

“This group has been a hard-working group all year and I’ve really enjoyed working with them,” said a disappointed head coach Steve Wilson. “I wish we could’ve finished it better than we did.“We probably got some bad breaks and responded the wrong way,” the coach said of the game.

“Some of our easier shots weren’t falling and some of our free throws weren’t falling. There was contact on a lot of plays but we’ve got to overcome that. We’ve talked about that all year. It’s a physical game now and you’ve got to adjust. And when something doesn’t go your way, you’ve got to keep playing and not let it get to you.”

The toughest call to overcome, however, occurred with :37 left. Morrilton had just taken a 41-40 lead on a free throw by LaQuante Canady. Bryant had tied it at 40 on a move inside by Zach Cambron with 1:02 left. The Hornets went to Cambron in the post again and when he wielded to make a move to the basket, whistles blew. The official under the basket had ruled a foul that would’ve sent Cambron to the line with a chance to tie it or take the lead. But he was over-ruled by an outside official who said that Cambron had traveled before the foul.

As a result, the Devil Pups had the lead and the ball for the first time in the fourth quarter.

The Hornets did get a break at that point when the Pups, trying to beat Bryant’s press deep, threw the ball away wth :31.9 showing.

Again, Bryant looked for Cambron, who led the team with 11 points. He got the ball in the post and started to move against a double-team. He went to his off-hand to get a shot away. There was contact but no call and the shot went off glass and rim to Morrilton.

Cambron fouled immediately, his fifth and, after a timeout, Jamar Criswell stepped to the line and converted twice with :13.9 left.

Bryant had a chance to tie it at the end but Marcus Wilson’s desperation 3 refused to go.

Morrilton won it at the line, converting 16 of 28 including 9 of 10 in the fourth quarter. Bryant finished 9 of 18.

Juwan Trezvant led the Pups with 13 points to go with Montrell Hood’s 12 which all came in the first half.

Hood appeared to have fouled out with just under three minutes to play. Bryant was clinging to a 35-34 lead and, after the teams traded a pair of turnovers apiece, Hood drove the right side of the lane, going through Wilson. One official ruled it a charge which would’ve been Hood’s fifth, the other, however, ruled that he had traveled before contact was made. Bryant still got the ball but Hood, who was drawing a lot of defensive attention from the Hornets, was able to stay in the game, though he did not score down the stretch.

Cambron hit a free throw to make it 36-34 with 2:19 left but a basket by Trezavant tied it at the 2:07 mark.

Bryant’s Aaron Bell and Morrilton’s Toney Hawkins traded baskets. With the score tied at 38, the Hornets were cited for an illegal screen, undermining their chance to keep the upper hand. And when Shawn Brockman hit two free throws with 1:13 left, Morrilton had its first lead since late in the first half.

The game seesawed for much of the first half. Bryant built a 10-6 lead with Scott Workman scoring all 4 of his points, Luke Rayburn hitting a nice spinning jumper off a drive then feeding Bell for a layup plus a follow shot by Cambron.

But Hood hit a 3 for Morrilton and beat the buzzer with a floater to give the Pups an 11-10 lead.

Midway through the second period, the Pups expanded the margin to 18-14, their largest lead of the game.

Leon Neale hit a free throw to start a 10-0 Bryant surge to end the half. Wilson made a steal and fed Riley Hall for a hoop. A layup by Neale with :35 left in the half gave Bryant the lead. Bell made a steal and hit two free throws then Josh Davis’ theft led to a buzzer-beating 3 by Hall to make it 24-18.

And when Jalen Hewitt hit the offensive glass for a basket after Canady hit a free throw, Bryant had its largest lead of the game at 26-19 early in the third quarter.

Morrilton cut it to 1 by the 2:24 mark but Bryant maintained the edge, answering every Morrilton point until the late stages of the game. It was 33-30 going into the fourth quarter.


Score by quarters

Morrilton 11 7 12 13 — 43

BRYANT 10 14 9 7 — 40


Dudley 0-1 0-0 0, Trezvant 4-9 5-9 13, Criswell 0-2 3-4 3, Canady 1-2 4-6 6, Hood 4-7 1-2 12, Hawkins 1-4 2-3 4, Bailey 1-4 1-2 3, Crafton 0-0 0-0 0, Crowder 0-0 0-0 0, Brockman 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 11-30 16-28 43.


Rayburn 1-2 0-0 2, Bell 2-10 2-2 6, Workman 1-5 2-2 4, Hewitt 1-2 0-0 2, J.Davis 1-3 0-1 2, Neale 2-3 2-5 6, Hall 2-6 0-1 5, Wilson 1-6 0-0 2, Cambron 4-8 3-7 11, S.Davis 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-46 9-18 40.

Three-point field goals: Morrilton 3-6 (Hood 3-5, Criswell 0-1), Bryant 1-8 (Hall 1-3, Wilson 0-3, Bell 0-1, J.Davis 0-1). Rebounds: Morrilton 24 (Criswell 7), Bryant 27 (Neale 8, Workman 5). Turnovers: Morrilton 24, Bryant 18. Total fouls: Morrilton 19, Bryant 23. Fouled out: Bryant, Neale, Cambron.

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