The Bryant Blue Hornets eighth grade team of Bethel Middle School turned the tables on their current rivals and future teammates, Bryant White of Bryant Middle School on Thursday.
Bryant White had defeated Blue 50-25 back on Dec. 11. This time, Blue prevailed on its home court, 32-18.
A strong start and a strong finish produced the difference. Bethel ran out to a 13-5 lead in the first quarter and finished with an 11-2 run in the fourth.
“Our eighth grade played a very inspired game,” said Bethel coach Dominic Lincoln. “I couldn’t be more proud of their effort. Our full-court pressure was very intense and effective and we team-rebounded the best we have all year.”
Randy Thomas led the Blue Hornets with 13 points. Tyler O’Neal and Alex Blair added 6 each. Josh Roberton and Michael Chatman scored 3 apiece.
Kajuan Robinson paced the White Hornets with 10 points. Daelin Drake added 6 and Jake Wright 2.
“For the most part, we handled their pressure pretty well,” said White Hornets’ coach Heath Long. “But we also made a few mistakes that hurt us. We had a hard time scoring against their zone as well.
“I have to give my guys credit,” he added. “They never gave up and I felt like we still had a chance to win until pretty late in the game.”
Blue led 16-10 at the half and 21-16 going into the third quarter.
Bryant White, now 9-4, will conclude the season on Monday, Feb. 9, at Russellville.
Bryant Blue, now 7-8, hosts Lighthouse Charter on Monday, Feb. 9, then wraps up the season at Cabot South on Thursday, Feb. 12.