Nichols leads third-quarter burst as White tops Blue in eighth-grade contest

For more photos of this event by Kevin Nagle, go here

The Bryant White Hornets eighth-grade team of Bryant Middle School erupted offensively and, behind 19 points from Cory Nichols prevailed over the rival Bryant Blue Hornets eighth-graders of Bethel Middle School on Monday, 50-37.

Nichols hit four 3-pointers in the second half including three in the third period to spark Bryant White. He finished with six rebounds and three assists.

“Before the game, I asked our guys to shoot the ball if they were open,” said Bryant White coach Richard Wrightner. “I think we have been a really good defensive team, but I wanted us to have a great game offensively as well. I believe we did just that. We were aggressive on the boards. We took good shots and we shot the ball with confidence.

“Defensively, we gave up a few more shots than we wanted to, but we answered right back,” he added. “Our boys did really well. I am proud of them.”

“I thought we played well at times,” said Bryant Blue coach Steve Wilson. “And we shot the ball well at times. We seemed to give up a lot of points in spurts when they got more aggressive with their press.”

Nasir Vinson had 10 points and eight rebounds for Bryant White. Ivory Gilmore added 7 points with Darren Wallace adding 6. Chris Gannaway finished with 4, Jordan Knox 2 and Braxton Fischer 1.

For Blue, James Billingsley hit a trio of 3’s for a team-high 9 points. Evan Lamb, Alex Skelley and Elijah Thompson added six each. Jackson Fluger pitched in with a 3 while Jeffrey Francis and Jordan Verdell scored 2 apiece. Destin Jenkins and Aiden Baker contributed a free throw each. The Blue Hornets hit six 3’s altogether.

Bryant White held an 8-6 edge at the end of the first quarter. Vinson and Gilmore each had 5 points in the second quarter as the lead grew to 20-15. Billingsley and Skelley each popped a 3.

Going into the fourth quarter, the White lead was 36-26 with Nichols accounting for 13 of hits team’s 16 points. Billingsley hit another 3 and Lamb had 4 points, Thompson 3 in the quarter.

Bryant White, now 7-3 on the season, travels to North Little Rock on Thursday, Jan. 24. Bryant Blue, now 2-7, will host a North Little Rock team on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

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