Sterrenberg, Panthers overwhelm Hornets

By Rob Patrick

CABOT — One of the main reasons the Bryant Hornets’ losses at Little Rock Catholic and at Russellville in the first 10 days of the 7A-Central Conference race were so disappointing was what lay ahead.

In their next four games, the Hornets had to tangle with the four most talented teams in the league, Conway, Cabot, North Little Rock and Little Rock Central. Which is not to say that Hornets can’t beat those teams. It just means the task would be a little more challenging. It’s one thing to out-execute teams you match up with fairly well athletically and win, it’s another to execute so well that you overcome the other team’s raw talent.

On Friday, Jan. 23, the Hornets did a pretty good job of dealing with the talented players that the Cabot Panthers deployed, except for swingman Adam Sterrenberg, a three-year starter who’s been a thorn in the Hornets’ side (and more than a few others) for all those years, a player they won’t miss seeing in the future.Sterrenberg, a quick 6-3 slasher who can knock down the 3, wound up the only player in double figured in the game with 23 points, leading his team to a 58-30 victory.

The Panthers improved to 13-5 overall, 3-2 in conference play, a game off the pace set by Conway and North Little Rock.The Hornets fell to 7-10 and 1-4 going into their home date with North Little Rock.[more]

While Sterrenberg was taking over most of the offensive chores, his teammates were joining him in a defensive effort that proved frustrating for the Hornets. With Austin Johnson and Miles Monroe, both 6-8, along with 6-4 Gary Clark, shutting things off inside, Sterrenberg and guard Jack Bridges were able to take risks to go for steals on the perimeter. The result was 20 Bryant turnovers. The Hornets held their own for awhile.

In fact, they led much of the first quarter thanks to an early baseline drive by Dijon Benton and a 3-pointer by Dontay Renuard.

And the active Bryant defense frustrated the Panthers for awhile too.Bryant led 6-4 with 2:38 left in the opening period and had a couple of chances to increase that. But Sterrenberg sparked a 9-0 run that put his team ahead to stay.

His three-point play in the waning seconds of the first quarter made it 11-6 then his steal and layup to start the second capped the run.K-Ron Lairy’s running jumper got the Hornets back on track. Clark scored but Benton fed Tim Floyd for an alley-oop dunk that had Bryant within 15-10.

But Cabot finished the half with a 14-3 blitz interrupted only by Lairy’s 3.

Floyd got the first basket of the second half on another oop, cutting the margin to 29-15 but Cabot answered with another spree that pushed the lead to 47-20.

Renuard, who led Bryant with 8 points, hit a jumper in the late stages of the third quarter to make it a 25-point game going into the fourth.

Bryant head coach Mark Smith pulled his starters to start the fourth quarter and when Cabot coach Jerry Bridges kept his starters in until the mercy rule went into affect (30-points up and the clock rolls unstopped), it became a point of contention between them after the game.

Sterrenberg finished his night with a dunk off a steal and a jumper with 5:22 left to play, pumping the lead to 55-24.

Down the stretch, the Hornets got a basket by Bryce Whitfield, 5 points from sophomore Tyler Gattin and a free throw from Cameron Whaley but the lead was never less than 25.

CABOT 58, BRYANT 30

Score by quarters

BRYANT 6 7 9 8 — 30

Cabot 11 18 18 11 — 58

BRYANT (7-10, 1-4) 30

Player fg-fga ft-fta reb fls pts

o-d-t

Lairy 2-6 0-0 0-1 1 0 5

Parish 0-1 0-0 1-1 2 0 0

Renuard 3-7 1-4 3-3 6 3 8

Benton 2-5 0-0 2-4 6 2 4

Floyd 2-6 1-2 2-2 4 4 5

Whitfield 1-6 0-1 0-2 2 1 2

Whaley 0-1 1-2 0-2 2 1 2

Prescott 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Gattin 2-2 0-0 1-0 1 0 5

Stitch 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 0 0

Team reb. 1-3 4

Totals 12-35 3-9 10-20 30 11 30

CABOT (13-5, 3-2) 58

Player fg-fga ft-ft reb fls pts

o-d-t

Sterrenberg 9-14 3-3 2-4 6 0 23

Bridges 2-4 0-0 0-2 2 2 6

Monroe 3-7 0-0 2-0 2 2 6

Johnson 3-10 1-2 3-3 6 1 7

Clark 2-3 2-2 1-1 2 2 6

Bloomberg 1-2 1-1 0-0 0 1 3

Baker 1-4 0-1 0-1 1 2 2

Armstrong 1-2 0-0 1-1 2 2 2

Jones 0-3 0-0 0-1 1 1 0

Davis 0-1 0-0 1-0 1 0 0

Powers 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 0 0

Martin 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Ford 1-1 1-2 1-0 1 0 3

Ellerbee 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Team reb. 1-1 2

Totals 23-52 8-11 12-15 27 13 58

Three-point field goals: Bryant 3-12 (Renuard 1-2, Lairy 1-2, Gattin 1-1, Floyd 0-3, Whitfield 0-3, Parish 0-1), Cabot 4-14 (Bridges 2-4, Sterrenberg 2-3, Johnson 0-3, Jones 0-2, Baker 0-1, Martin 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 20, Cabot 8. Technical foul: Cabot, Bridges.

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