Not much goes well for Hornets in 2018-19 debut as Marion rolls

NORTH LITTLE ROCK — Fully understanding that his Bryant Hornets were playing their first official game of the season, against a perennial 6A (now 5A) State tournament team in the Marion Patriots, head coach Mike Abrahamson braced himself.

“I told myself I wasn’t going to get too high if we played well and I wasn’t going to get too low if we didn’t play well,” he related, after the game on Saturday, which was part of the North Little Rock Showcase.

“But I really didn’t expect that performance today,” he added. “And I take the blame for that. I take full responsibility for that. I didn’t have them prepared.”

The Patriots out-gunned the Hornets, 94-72, shooting 57 percent from the field and out-rebounding the Hornets, 46-27.

“They are very good,” Abrahamson acknowledged. “We knew they were good, but they were certainly impressive today.”

Junior swingman Detrick Reeves Jr., fired in 31 points to lead Marion to the win. Keyshawn Woods and Darrius Waterford added 15 each and Decoria Smith scored 11 and 6-9 center Tim Caesar had 9. Woods led the Patriots on the boards with 8.

Sixteen of Marion’s rebounds came at the offensive end against the smaller Hornets.

“Boy, this really exposes us,” Abrahamson stated. “Rebounding, as I thought may be a big problem, certainly was. The thing that kind of surprised me was how we guarded the ball. I thought we’d do a better job guarding the ball and keeping them in front of us, kind of containing them. And we didn’t.”

Rodney Lambert, the Hornets’ lone senior, fired in 24 points. Khalen Robinson had 18 and Camren Hunter 13. Robinson and Hunter both wound up fouling out of the game. Freshman Khasen Robinson pumped in a pair of 3’s in the fourth quarter and finished with 10.

“We did not play the way we play every day in practice,” Abrahamson said. “And that’s my responsibility to get them to do that. When we practice a certain way, it’s my responsibility to get them to play that same way in the game. And we did not do that.

“So, I’ve got to figure out, do we want to make some major adjustments, or do we want to make some minor adjustments,” he added. “I don’t know. I’m going to evaluate and take a deep breath and see where we’re going to go from here.”

The two teams just traded licks in the first half, which ended with the Patriots up just 43-38. They traded buckets to start the third quarter. On a 3 by Khalen Robinson, the Hornets were within 47-43.

But, sparked by Reeves, the Patriots put together a 14-1 burst to take control of the game. Woods had 4 points during the run and Reeves 8. Two free throws by Jaqualyn Daniel with 1:28 left in the quarter, made it 62-46.

The game was called pretty tightly as the two teams combined for 51 fouls. Seven Hornets had two or more fouls by the end of the first half.

Marion built a lead of 66-49 going into the final stanza. Caesar started the fourth quarter with a dunk and it was a 19-point lead. The largest lead was 87-65 down the stretch.

The Hornets led only briefly in the contest. Two free throws by Lambert opened the scoring in the game but Reeves scored the next 6 points.

Later in the opening frame, Marion had a 16-9 advantage when the Hornets made a push. Khalen Robinson scored on an alley-oop pass on an inbounds play under the Bryant basket. Lambert then took a charge and, at the other end, drove hard to the hoop and came out with a three-point play.

So, when Khalen Robinson nailed his first 3 of the game with :41 left in the quarter, Bryant was back up 17-16.

A dunk by Woods put Marion back on top and the Patriots never trailed again. They held a 20-19 edge at the break. On another three-point play by Lambert off a base-line drive with 7:04 left in the half, the Hornets pulled even at 22.

But Reeves posted up for a basket to snap the tie and spur a 12-2 burst that produced the first double-digit difference in the game.

The Hornets hung in. Khalen Robinson’s three-point play in the final seconds of the third quarter, cut the margin to 43-38. The teams traded baskets in the first 1:30 of the fourth quarter before Marion started pulling away.

Bryant will have some practice time before it plays again on Thursday, Nov. 29, against Jonesboro Westside in the Barry Pruitt Tournament in Jonesboro.

PATRIOTS 94, HORNETS 72

Score by quarters

Marion            20        23        23        28 — 94

BRYANT           19        19        11        23 — 72

PATRIOTS 94

Boyce 2-8 1-2 5, Reeves 12-18 7-9 31, Woods 7-10 1-3 15, Caesar 3-4 3-3 9, Smith 4-6 3-4 11, Waterford 6-12 1-4 15, Scott1-2 0-0 2, Jefferson 0-0 0-0 0, Daniel 1-2 2-3 4, Pitts-Crawford 0-0 0-0 0, Perry 0-1 2-2 2, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals36-63 (57%) 20-30 (67%) 94.

HORNETS 72

Hunter4-13 4-5 13, Khal.Robinson 5-14 6-7 18, Payne 2-12 1-2 5, Lambert 7-15 10-12 24, Washington 1-3 0-0 2, Hall 0-1 0-0 0, Jenkins 0-1 0-0 0, Khas.Robinson 3-6 2-2 10, Adams 0-0 0-0 0, Montgomery 0-0 0-0 0. Totals22-64 (34%) 23-28 (82%) 72.

Three-point shooting:Bryant 5-29 (Khal.Robinson 2-9, Khas.Robinson 2-5, Hunter 1-5, Payne 0-8, Lambert 0-2), Marion 2-10 (Waterford 2-5, Reeves 0-4, Boyce 0-1, Smith 0-1, Perry 0-1). Turnovers:Bryant 13, Marion 12. Rebounds:Bryant 11-16 27 (Payne 2-4 6, Hunter 1-5 6, Lambert 2-1 3, Washington 1-1 2, Hall 1-1 2, Jenkins 0-2 2, team 4-4 8), Marion 16-30 46 (Woods 3-5 8, Reeves 3-3 6, Caesar 2-4 6, Smith 2-2 4, Daniel 2-2 4, Waterford 2-1 3, Boyce 0-2 2, Jefferson 0-2 2, Perry 0-2 2, Scott 1-0 1, Pitts-Crawford 0-1 1, Johnson 0-1 1, team 1-5 6). Team fouls:Bryant 28, Marion 23. Fouled out:Bryant, Khal.Robinson, Hunter.



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