Pressure provides winning formula for Bryant White

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

Chris Gannaway (4) pulls up in the lane to shoot a jumper. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

When you think of a basketball team applying pressure, most often, defense comes to mind — a full-court press, maybe a couple of them; pressure man-to-man, run-and-jump, half-court trap.

The Bryant White Hornets eighth grade team of Bryant Middle School did all of that, forcing 25 turnovers by the Cabot South Panthers eighth grade team.

But they also applied pressure by attacking the basket and pounding the offensive glass. The Hornets finished with 32 rebounds, 16 of them on the offensive end. And, though they shot just 35 percent from the field (13 of 37), they went to the free-throw line a whopping 39 times on the way to a 42-28 victory.

“The plan was to put the pressure on them,” acknowledged Hornets coach Richard Wrightner. “The plan was to play good defense and I thought we did, applying the pressure all four quarters. 

“We worked on three different presses over the past two weeks,” he noted. “We did two of them today, the 1-2-2 and the 1-2-1-1, the diamond press. That was the new one we put in. I think we did well at them.

“We got some deflections,” the coach said. “That was one of the goals, to get a few deflections and to create a lot of turnovers, which we did. We got a bunch of turnovers and we scored off a few of them. That helped us a lot.

Cory Nichols (1) powers a shot past Cabot South’s Jarrett Coleman. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

“Free throws helped us a lot,” he related. “But we still need to work on that as well. We attacked (the basket) really well and that was the game plan. Attack, attack, and put a lot of pressure on Cabot.”

The Hornets converted just 16 of those 39 free throws.

Cory Nichols led the team with 14 points including 8 of 19 at the line. Chris Gannaway added 10 points and seven rebounds. Nair Vinson scored 5 points and had a team-high eight boards. Jordan Knox and Ivory Gilmore pitched in with 5 points each.

The Hornets started the game with a 15-0 run that included 6 points from Nichols. Cabot South had 10 turnovers in the quarter and didn’t score until the 2:05 mark when Abe Owen got free inside. But Antonio Cage fed Gilmore for a basket and Bryant White held a 17-2 lead going into the second quarter.

Jaylon Russ converted a pair of free throws to start the second period, making it a 17-point lead.

Cabot South’s Gavin Muse interrupted with a 3-pointer and Owen hit a pair of free throws after being fouled on an offensive rebound, cutting the margin to 19-7. The Hornets had four chances to increase the margin at the free-throw line but couldn’t convert. A drive by Nichols ended the drought but two more trips to the line produced just one point.

But the Panthers just couldn’t make any headway, trying to cut into the margin. They got back within 12 before Nichols converted a pair of free throws in the final seconds of the half to make it 25-11.

Nasir Vinson scores inside against Cabot South’s Kellar Ringold (21) and teammate Grant Dunbar (12). (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Cabot South’s Boyce Theobald scored the first 7 points of the third quarter including a 3 that cut the difference to 7 at the 4:58 mark. Wrightner called a timeout and his team got back on track.

Gilmore took a feed from Nichols and scored. Off a turnover, Nichols made it to the line and converted once. Off another turnover, Gannaway cashed in with a 12-foot jumper and the margin was back to 12.

Owen, who led his team with 12 points, scoring inside then traded free throws with Nichols. With the lead at 10, the Panthers had a chance to get closer, but Knox made a steal that led to a basket by Gannaway as he was fouled. Though he missed the free throw, Knox added one from the line in the final minute to make it 37-22 going into the final quarter.

Owen scored 4 points in the first few minutes of the fourth but then, with the score 37-26, he fouled out, sending Vinson to the line. Though neither freebie fell, Nichols rebounded the second miss and scored to make it 39-26.

Gannaway added a layup and Knox hit another free throw down the stretch and Cabot South was only able to add a pair of free throws.

The Hornets improved to 5-3 overall this season going into a trip to Cabot North on Thursday.

HORNETS 42, PANTHERS 28

Eighth grade

Score by quarters

Cabot South    2          9          11        6 — 28

Bryant White  17        8          12        5 — 42

PANTHERS 28

Theobald 3-4 0-0 7, Kemp 0-3 0-0 0, Muse 1-2 0-2 3, Owen 4-9 4-4 12, Coleman 1-4 2-4 4, Bennett 0-0 0-0 0, Evans 0-0 0-0 0, Henderson 0-1 0-1 0, Harmon 0-2 0-0 0, Goforth 0-0 1-2 1, Abbott 0-0 0-0 0, Holloway 0-1 0-0 0, Ringold 0-1 0-0 0, Witt 0-0 1-2 1. Totals9-27 (33%) 8-15 (53%) 28.

HORNETS 42

Nichols 3-6 8-19 14, Knox 1-5 3-8 5, Gannaway 5-9 0-3 10, Vinson 2-7 1-2 5, Gilmore 2-4 1-3 5, Ao.Cage 0-1 0-0 0, Wallace 0-0 0-0 0, Russ 0-3 2-2 2, Dunbar 0-0 1-2 1, Everrett 0-0 0-0 0, Sanders 0-2 0-0 0. Totals13-37 (35%) 16-39 (41%) 42.

Three-point field goals:Bryant White 0-5 (Nichols 0-1, Knox 0-1, Gannaway 0-1, Gilmore 0-1, Sanders 0-1), Cabot South 2-5 (Theobald 1-2, Muse 1-2, Owen 0-1). Turnovers:Bryant White 12, Cabot South 25. Rebounds:Bryant White 16-16 32 (Vinson 4-4 8, Knox 6-1 7, Russ 2-5 7, Nichols 1-2 3, Gilmore 1-2 3, Ao.Cage 1-1 2, Gannaway 1-0 1, team 0-1 1), Cabot South 8-24 32 (Coleman 2-5 7, Muse 0-5 5, Harmon 2-3 5, Kemp 1-3 4, Henderson 1-2 3, Goforth 0-2 2, Owen 1-1 2, Holloway 0-1 1, team 1-2 3). Team fouls:Bryant White 17, Cabot South 25.



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