Photos by Rick Nation
When Jhorman Cruz found the back of the net with a shot early in the second half, the Bryant Hornets only trailed the Catholic Rockets, 2-1. But a late barrage by the Rockets wound up putting a damper on Senior Night for Bryant as they claimed a 5-1 win to wrap up the regular season on Friday at Bryant Stadium.
The Hornets, now 13-7 overall, 5-5 in the 7A/6A-Central Conference and 2-4 against 7A teams in the league, will head to the Class 7A State Tournament at Springdale on Thursday. They’ll open at 2 p.m. against the fourth-seeded team from the 7A-West Conference.
The Rockets are the two seed from the Central. They’ll open State at 4 p.m., against the sixth-seeded team from the West.
Catholic led Friday 2-0 at the half.
“We came out second half and played much better,” said Bryant coach Jason Hay. “Jhorman had one of the best shots I’ve seen all year to make it 2-1. And we perked up. We had our chances but then (Catholic) got one and it was out of our grasp.
“We played hard the whole game,” he asserted. “It’s hard to send our seniors out like that but now it’s win or go home.”
It was the last home game for Hornets’ seniors Krishna Gurung, Davis Toler, Danny Vivar, Victor Fuentes and Nathan Suarez as well as Hay and assistant Clint Shadwick who will be serving exclusively in middle school administrative posts next year.