Scoring drought proves too much for Hornets’ freshmen against Catholic

By Rob Patrick

The Bryant Hornets freshman team started well on Monday night, building a 15-8 lead over the[more] Little Rock Catholic Junior Rockets. But after a layup by Brandan Warner with :40.5 left in the opening period until a minute and a half into the third quarter, they were unable to come up with another field goal.

While they did add five free throws during that eight minute stretch, their 7-point lead turned into an 11-point deficit that they were unable to overcome as Catholic came away with a 40-34 victory.

It was the third loss in the last four games for the slumping Hornets who will be off until the annual Kameron Hale Memorial Holiday Tournament at Lake Hamilton starting Wednesday, Dec. 28.

The Rockets were led by D.J. Brown’s 25 points and the Hornets were paced by K.J. Hill’s 24. The duo went head-to-head much of the night. Bryant had no one else with more than 3 while Catholic got 9 points from Jacob Stone off the bench.

Stone hit three 3-point shots at key moments. His first cut Bryant’s lead to 15-14. His second, with 2:29 left in the first half, gave his team a 17-15 lead — a lead they never relinquished. His third opened the scoring in the second half, making it 24-15.

In Bryant’s early salvo Hill hit a pair of 3’s and John Winn hit another against the Rockets’ zone defense. Warner’s layup came after Hill and Ryan Hall combined to force a Catholic turnover. Another Rockets’ miscue led to two free throws by Hill when he was fouled attempting a 3-point shot with :02.9 left in the quarter.

But moments later, Brown went up to try a three-quarter court desperation shot at the buzzer and was fouled. With no time on the clock, he converted two of three at the line to make it 15-10.

Brown accounted for all 10 of Catholic’s first-quarter points and those free throws started the Rockets’ surge to the lead. Corey Smith hit a free throw to start the second quarter then Stone began his 3-point barrage. Brown hit two free throws and a buzzer-beating running jumper to make it 21-15 as Bryant failed to score in the quarter.

Hill ended the scoreless stretch with two free throws with 4:29 left in the third quarter, shortly after Stone’s third triple. Another free throw by Hill and two for J.C. Newborn had Bryant within 24-20 but Catholic scored the next 7 points and eventually led by as much as 14.

Hill and a quartet of reserves finished the game for Bryant and, sparked by a 3-pointer by Kennith Buffington, they cut the lead to the final margin.

ROCKETS 40, HORNETS 34

Score by quarters

LR Catholic 10 11 7 12 — 40

BRYANT 15 0 5 14 — 34

ROCKETS 40

Stroesse 0-1 0-0 0, Allen 0-3 0-0 0, Brown 6-8 12-16 25, Smith 0-1 1-2 1, Hutchins 2-2 1-2 5, Hancock 0-1 0-0 0, Stone 3-4 0-0 9, Fox 0-0 0-0 0, Easley 0-0 0-0 0, Hickman 0-0 0-0 0, Sanders 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 11-21 14-20 40.

HORNETS 34

Winn 1-3 0-0 3, Warner 1-4 0-0 2, Hill 5-9 12-14 24, Newborn 1-4 0-0 2, Hall 0-0 0-0 0, Nelson 0-0 0-0 0, Withers 0-1 0-0 0, Buffington 1-1 0-0 3, Fisher 0-0 0-0 0, Green 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 8-22 14-16 34.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 4-12 (Hill 2-4, Winn 1-3, Buffington 1-1, Warner 0-3, Withers 0-1), Little Rock Catholic 4-9 (Stone 3-3, Brown 1-2, Allen 0-3, Hancock 0-1). Rebounds: Bryant 15 (Newborn 5), Little Rock Catholic 12 (Brown 2). Turnovers: Bryant 7, Little Rock Catholic 5. Team fouls: Bryant 14, Little Rock Catholic 14. 


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