For more photos from this event by Kevin Nagle, go here
PEARCY — He was hot, and his teammates started looking for him. And he scored on jumpers in the lane, beyond the 3-point arc, drove to the rack, from all over.
In the end, Kellen Robinson poured in 30 points in a 20-minute game to lead the Bryant White Hornets eighth grade team to a 41-29 win over the Lake Hamilton Wolves eighth grade team at Wolves Arena on Thursday night.
The improved the Hornets to 14-2 on the season going into a game next Tuesday at home against Cabot South.
“He’s phenomenal, a great basketball player, even more than that, a team player,” said Hornets coach Richard Wrightner of Robinson, the younger brother of Khalen and Khasen Robinson who have starred for the Bryant High School varsity team. “He thanked the guys. He knows he had a big night but so did those other guys, especially defensively. He was hot at times and the other guys were unselfish, hit him when he was open. It was an overall great team effort.”
Robinson scored all 9 points in the first quarter including a pair of 3’s. The Hornets led 8-2 going into the final minute of the period when Lake Hamilton rallied. It was 9-7 going into the second period.
With Robinson scoring 11 more in the second quarter, the Hornets put together an 18-point period and, at one point, led 27-9. When Robinson hit his third 3 of the half, the margin was 19-9. Grant Johnson drove for a layup off a steal and, after Robinson added consecutive buckets, Trent Ford nailed a triple.
In the last 1:30 of the half, the Wolves trimmed the lead to 27-14.
The Hornets struggled to get the ball to go in during the third quarter. Robinson had a driving layup off a steal by Mytorian Singleton to make it 30-16 but the Wolves got hot at that point and ran off an 11-0 run that whittled that margin down to 3.
But, with :21.5 left in the quarter, T.J. Lindsey hit a free throw. At the other end, he blocked a shot and rebounded the deflection. The Hornets got it ahead to Robinson who hit a layup with :06 showing to make it 33-27.
“It was a little rocky in the third quarter,” Wrightner acknowledged. “They made a small run and we didn’t score as much. But, again, the effort and the hustle, what I’ve been preaching the second half of the season, was there the whole night.
“Out of the gate, I like to press to control the tempo,” he noted. “Also, especially when we’re up, to slow them down. We threw two presses at them, one a zone press to slow them down a little bit then, once they got hot, we went to our full-court man press and that made them a little shaky.”
Robinson’s steal and layup got the Hornets back in gear. Two more layups increased the margin to 40-27 before the Wolves managed to score for the first time in the final stanza, with 1:45 left to play.
Bradyn Coge’s 3-pointer with 1:17 left put the finishing touchdowns on the victory.
“It was good to get a win at Lake Hamilton,” Wrightner asserted.