By Rob Patrick
When Simeon Watson took a kickout pass from Kevin Hunt and drained a 3 in the closing[more] seconds of the first half, the Bryant Hornets were even with the Lake Hamilton Wolves, 16-16. The triple capped off a 10-point second quarter for the Bryant freshmen as they battled their Central Arkansas Junior High Conference rivals in the consolation finals of the 2012 Bryant Invitational Tournament.
But 10 points wound up being all the Hornets would score in the entire second half and Lake Hamilton took advantage to forge a 46-26 victory.
The Wolves finished on a 13-2 run to blow up a closer game.
Bryant, now 2-3, will open conference play on Monday when the rival Benton Panthers visit.
Scoring droughts plagued the Hornets at various times throughout the game on Thursday. It took them nearly half of the first quarter to get their initial field goal. Lake Hamilton built a 6-1 lead before Bryant’s Cameron Murray hit the offensive glass for a stickback to break the ice.
A free throw by Clay Ingold and a driving layup by Kris Croom pulled the Hornets even 6-6 going into the second quarter as the Wolves went the second half of the period without scoring.
A free throw by Levi Daniel and a short jumper by Jordan Hughes had the Wolves up 9-6 in the second period which, again, was more than half over before the Hornets found the range. This time Murray, working the high post, dumped a pass down to Ingold on the blocks for a layup to make it 9-8.
And the streaky Hornets were off on a run of their own. Croom made a steal that eventually led to a basket by Murray that put Bryant ahead.
The Hornets led 13-12 then Hughes hit the offensive glass for a basket and, moments later, so did 6-5 Jason Burks to give the Wolves a 16-13 lead going into the final :15. That’s when Hunt penetrated and kicked to Watson in the corner for the bucket that tied it at the half.
Lake Hamilton’s inside duo of Hughes and Burks combined for 29 points and 17 rebounds. Burks also proved problematic for the Hornets’ offense with his shot-blocking ability inside.
Hughes, who had 10 of those rebounds and 17 points hit the offensive boards for the first bucket of the second half and, after the Hornets missed three opportunities to answer, Hunter Daley was fouled attempting a 3-pointer. But he made just one so when Ingold scored off a dish from Hunt with 3:57 left in the third quarter, the Hornets trailed but just 1.
That’s when the tell-tale run began. Hughes scored inside and Daley made a steal that led to a jump hook by Burks over Murray. And when Daley drained a 3 with 2:32 left in the quarter, Hornets coach Mike Simmons called timeout to try to stem the tide with his team trailing 26-18 all of a sudden.
When play resumed, the Hornets got the ball inside the Murray and he produced only to have Lake Hamilton’s Parker Knapp drain a 3 in response. A steal by Dallas Baldwin got the Wolves another chance. He was unable to convert but Burks was there to clean the glass and score to produce the first double-digit lead of the game, 31-20, which held through the end of the quarter.
A floating jumper by Alex Oneal produced the first points of the fourth period and the Hornets with back within 9. Hughes and Bryant’s Evan Lee traded buckets to make it 33-24 going into the final five minutes of the game.
But the Hornets would not score again until Quinton Royal’s last second jumper, which snapped Lake Hamilton’s 13-0 run.
LAKE HAMILTON 45, BRYANT 26
Score by quarters
Lake Hamilton 6 10 15 14 — 45
BRYANT 6 10 4 6 — 26
Baldwin 2-9 3-4 7, Daley 1-6 1-3 4, Knapp 1-1 1-5 4, Hughes 8-13 1-2 17, Burks 5-11 2-4 12, Daniel 0-1 1-2 1, Dailey 0-2 0-0 0, Nero 0-0 0-0 0, Bennett 0-0 0-0 0, Ivandic 0-0 0-0 0, Sharp 0-0 0-0 0, Rengstorf 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-43 9-20 45.
Oneal 1-5 0-0 2, Croom 1-8 1-2 3, Hunt 0-1 3-4 3, Ingold 2-5 1-2 5, Murray 3-6 0-2 6, Lee 1-3 0-0 2, Harris 0-0 0-0 0, Carden 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Price 0-0 0-0 0, Watson 1-3 0-0 3, L.Allen 0-0 0-0 0, Thornton 0-1 0-0 0, R.Allen 0-0 0-0 0, Gentry 0-0 0-0 0, Royal 1-2 0-0 2, Guillory 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 10-34 5-10 26
Three-point field goals: Lake Hamilton 2-7 (Daley 1-4, Knapp 1-1, Baldwin 0-2), Bryant 1-9 (Watson 1-2, Oneal 0-3, Croom 0-1, Hunt 0-1, Lee 0-1, Thornton 0-1). Rebounds: Lake Hamilton 31 (Hughes 10), Bryant 24 (Murray 7, Croom 5). Turnovers: Lake Hamilton 8, Bryant 12. Team fouls: Lake Hamilton 11, Bryant 17. Technical foul: Bryant, Murray.