Russellville defense slows down freshman Hornets

RUSSELLVILLE — You know if the Russellville Whirlwinds freshman team can hold North Little Rock, the first-place team in the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference, to 18 points and a high-scoring Conway Blue team to 14, they play tremendous defense, especially at home.

So, it might be said that the Bryant Hornets freshmen did well to score 25 up there on Thursday night. Unfortunately, the Whirlwinds managed a 32-25 win to remain tied with Conway White for second place in the league.

The Hornets fell to 10-5 in conference play, tied for fourth with Conway Blue. Bryant finishes up the regular season this week. They’ll head to Cabot South on Monday in search of some payback for a loss right after the Christmas break. Next Thursday, they travel to Conway White in hopes of knocking them off and, perhaps, catching them in the standings and improving their seed for the CAJHC post-season Tournament in Benton starting Wednesday, Feb. 15.

The Hornets were stymied in the first half and trailed the Whirlwinds 17-7 at the break. They rallied in the second half and managed to whittle the margin to 3 with 1:28 left in the game.

“We couldn’t get it any closer,” said Hornets coach Tyler Posey. “Tough game. Playing up there is insanely hard to do; something about it.”

O.J. Newburn led the Hornets with 8 points. Darrick Rose finished with 7 and Keith Merriweather Jr. scored 6.

Regarding the Russellville defense, Posey said, “They run this 1-2-2 type press, pack it tight middle, and slow you down so bad. Then they play this 1-1-3 matchup zone and dare you to shoot. Just slows the game down so much.”

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