Photos by Kevin Nagle
Bryant Hornets freshman basketball coach Tyler Posey called one timeout Monday night. It came early in the second quarter. His team had built a 13-3 lead by the end of the opening period but the Malvern Leopard Cubs had hit a pair of layups on either side of Christian McIntosh’s 12-foot jumper, trimming the Bryant lead to 15-7.
Posey wanted better defense from his troops and he got it. Though they hit a few free throws along the way, the Cubs wouldn’t manage another field goal until the final 30 seconds of the half then just one more in the third quarter and one final basket in the fourth quarter.
The Hornets led 26-14 at the half then by as much as 25 in the second on the way to a 46-22 win.
After that lone timeout, Bryant’s Kaleb Turner knocked down the second of his trio of 3-pointers in the game. Malvern’s Dillon Anderson converted a pair of free throws but Bryant’s Calvin Allen answered with a whirling move into the paint and a scoop shot to make it a double-digit game again.
The Hornets’ lead was never less than 10 the rest of the game.
All 18 players got in the game for Bryant, which improved to 10-4 with the win. Eight players contributed to the scoring with Turner leading the way with 13 points off the bench. Caylin Allen had 8, Calvin Allen 7.
To start the game, the Hornets got a lift from Kyle Sahr, who matched up with Malvern’s 6-4 post man B.J. Lacy. Lacy didn’t score in the first half as Posey rotated Sahr, Landon Kays and Trey Ashmore on him. Sahr, as it turned out, accounted for the Hornets’ first 4 points as well, though he wound up coming out of the game with foul trouble not long after that. His steal and layup put the first 2 on the board. He then stepped out and knocked down a 15-foot jumper.
Malvern’s first basket was a runout against the Hornets’ press, which got Jacquez Lock a layup. But Garrett Cowart countered with a 12-footer, Caylin Allen made a steal and hit a layup off a feed from brother Calvin. And when Calvin Allen followed with a spin move off a drive for a basket with 2:18 left in the first quarter, it was 10-2.
Lock hit a free throw but Turner buried his first triple to set the score going into the second quarter.
The Hornets would start the second half with a similar surge, breaking out 12-3.
Bryant’s largest lead of the first half was 26-11 going into the final 30 seconds. A free throw by Chase Goshien and a basket by Tevin Smith allowed the Cubs to cut it to 26-14 at the break.
Cowart made a steal to start the second half, resulting in a trip to the line for Caylin Allen. He converted once but, after a Malvern miss, Calvin Allen drained a 12-footer. Sahr blocked a shot by Lacy and, at the other end, Caylin Allen was fouled going to the hole. His free throws extended the margin to 31-14.
Goshien interrupted with a 3-pointer but Turner followed up two free throws with his third trey. He would add a running jumper after a steal by Brandon Harris to make it 38-17 going into the final 30 seconds of the period — the first 20-plus lead of the contest.
Lacy hit a free throw to end the quarter then another to start the fourth but that was as close as the Cubs could get, 38-19. Harris fed John Winston for a layup, off a nice pick and roll play. McIntosh laced a pass to Winston for another bucket and the lead was 24.
With just over three minutes left in the game, Lacy managed the only Malvern field goal of the fourth quarter but McIntosh buried a jumper from the baseline and Jamale Slater nailed a 12-footer to push the lead to its apex, 46-21.
The win was Bryant’s 10th of the season in 14 outings. The Hornets will wrap up their non-conference slate on Wednesday at Conway Blue in a make-up of a game that was postponed on Jan. 9 due to icy conditions in Conway.
Central Arkansas Junior High Conference action commences for the Hornets this Thursday at Cabot North.
JUNIOR HORNETS 46, LEOPARD CUBS 22
Score by quarters
Malvern 3 11 4 4 — 22
BRYANT 13 13 12 8 — 46
LEOPARD CUBS 22
Lock 1-5 1-2 3, Goshien 2-6 3-4 8, Anderson 0-0 2-2 2, Lacy 1-4 2-4 4, Shuffield 0-2 0-2 0, Smith 2-4 0-1 4, Wright 0-4 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, James 0-1 0-0 0, Bailey 0-1 1-2 1, Findley 0-0 0-0 0, Woods 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 6-28 9-17 22.
JUNIOR HORNETS 46
Cal.Allen 3-4 1-2 7, Cowart 2-4 0-0 4, Cay.Allen 2-7 4-6 8, Moody 0-0 0-0 0, Sahr 2-2 0-0 4, Kays 0-2 0-0 0, Handly 0-3 0-0 0, McIntosh 2-3 0-0 4, Turner 4-10 2-2 13, Kelly 0-1 0-0 0, J.Allen 0-1 0-0 0, Harris 0-2 0-0 0, Winston 2-3 0-0 4, Slater 1-1 0-0 2, Adams 0-0 0-0 0, Blake 0-0 0-0 0, Nimmer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-43 7-10 46.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 3-17 (Turner 3-7, Cowart 0-2, Cay.Allen 0-2, Harris 0-2, Cal.Allen 0-1, Handly 0-1, McIntosh 0-1, Kelly 0-1), Malvern 1-4 (Goshien 1-3, Lacy 0-1). Rebounds: Bryant 30 (Cowart 6, McIntosh 4), Malvern 25 (Wright 8). Turnovers: Bryant 9, Malvern 17. Team fouls: Bryant 23, Malvern 11.