PEARCY — Just about every coach will turn to the old “next man up” talk when one of his starters is out of action for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s in hopes of challenging the players that will be responsible for bigger roles. Other times, it’s a way of avoid excuses later, if things don’t work out.
But when you have the depth of talent that the Bryant Hornets freshman team has, it’s just a matter of fact. The “next man up” has the ability to step in and perform.
On Monday in the third-place game at the annual Kameron Hale Invitational Tournament at Lake Hamilton High School, illness had starting forward Marvin Moody at home with illness and oft-times starting forward John Winston present but sitting the bench until foul trouble pressed him into action late in the game.
But the Hornets, coming off a rugged double-overtime loss to Hot Springs in the semifinals, didn’t miss a beat as they forged a 55-46 victory over the Lakeside Rams.
Kaleb Turner came off the bench to scored 20 points, half of them in the fourth quarter to help hold off a Lakeside rally.
Caylin Allen added 14 points, Calvin Allen 9, Brandon Harris 5, Hunter Handly 4, Garrett Cowart 3 and Christian McIntosh 2. In addition, Landon Kays sparked the Hornets on defense, blocking five shots. Winston didn’t score but matched Handly with a team-high five rebounds.
Sparked by point guard Chris Babb, the Rams were within 48-41 with 3:06 left in the game. They had a chance to get closer but Winston blocked a shot and Turner drove for a layup at the other end. Babb missed and Turner streaked to another slashing basket. Caylin Allen made a steal and Turner canned a driving jumper as he was fouled, making it suddenly 54-41 to match Bryant’s biggest lead of the game with 1:51 left in the game.
Foul trouble made it a bit of an uneven game for the Hornets as Calvin Allen, Harris, Handly, Caylin Allen and Kyle Sahr all picked up multiple fouls in the first half. Lakeside took advantage by hitting 8 of 14 free throws before intermission.
A three-point play by Harris tied the score 5-5 after Lakeside had staked a 5-2 lead. A flurry of action followed with Handly and Sahr making steals before, with 1:13 left, Handly canned an 8-foot jumper to give the Hornets their first lead. Free throws enabled the Rams to finish the quarter ahead.
To open the second period, Turner drained a 3 and was fouled. He completed the four-point play and the Hornets never trailed the rest of the way. Caylin Allen’s first triple had Bryant up 16-11 but Lakeside rallied to tie it at 16.
A follow shot by Turner snapped the deadlock and Cowart drove for a basket as he was fouled with :04 left to make it 20-18. Lakeside had a chance to tie it at the free-throw line with :02.9 showing but made just one of two shots to make it a 20-19 game at the intermission.
Babb, who finished with 18 points, hit a 12-footer to start the third quarter and Lakeside had a 21-20 lead but it was short-lived and the last advantage of the game for the Rams.
Calvin Allen’s drive earned him a trip of the free-throw line where he put the Hornets ahead to stay with 5:17 left in the quarter.
Kays had two big blocks over the next few minutes as Lakeside struggled to regain the edge. Eventually, Cowart added a free throw and, when his second shot missed, Handly rebounded and scored to make it 25-21.
Kays made another block and Calvin Allen pushed to the other end for a layup and a 27-21 lead. Yet another block by Kays followed but Lakeside forced a turnover and scored, cutting the margin to 4 going into the final three minutes of the quarter.
The Hornets surged. Harris drove for a bucket, Handly made a steal and Caylin Allen splashed a troika. Turner attacked the basket for another deuce and, off Caylin Allen’s steal, Calvin Allen drove for a bucket and suddenly it was 36-23.
It was 39-28 going into the fourth quarter. A driving jumper by McIntosh bumped the margin back to 13.
Turner and Babb traded free throws and a layup by Lakeside cut the lead to single digits. After a timeout, however, Caylin Allen ripped a triple off a dish from his brother to make it 45-33.
That’s when the Rams started their run with Babb getting 6 of the 8 points in the run before Turner took over.
Now 9-4 on the season (with three losses in overtime), the Hornets return to action on Thursday, Jan. 9, at Conway Blue.
JUNIOR HORNETS 55, JUNIOR RAMS 46
Score by quarters
BRYANT 7 13 19 16 — 55
Lakeside 8 11 9 18 — 46
JUNIOR HORNETS 55
Cal.Allen 3-3 3-4 9, Cowart 1-3 1-3 3, Harris 2-5 1-1 5, Handly 2-5 0-0 4, Kays 0-0 0-1 0, Sahr 0-1 0-0 0, Cay.Allen 4-6 1-2 12, Turner 6-11 7-10 20, Ashmore 0-1 0-0 0, Slater 0-0 0-1 0, Kelly 0-1 0-0 0, Winston 0-1 0-0 0, McIntosh 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 19-38 13-22 55.
JUNIOR RAMS 46
Babb 6-17 6-9 18, Gray 1-3 0-0 2, Bennett 2-6 2-6 7, Bland 1-4 0-1 2, Slayton 3-9 6-10 12, Gulley 2-5 0-0 4, Mabry 0-0 0-0 0, Lloyd 0-2 0-0 0, Wisdom 0-0 1-2 1, Neighbors 0-0 0-0 0, Brewer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-46 15-28 46.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 4-9 (Cay.Allen 3-5, Turner 1-2, Harris 0-2), Lakeside 1-7 (Bennett 1-2, Babb 0-3, Lloyd 0-2). Rebounds: Bryant 33 (Handly, Winston 5, Sahr, Turner 4), Lakeside 30 (Slayton 8). Turnovers: Bryant 17, Lakeside 17. Team fouls: Bryant 26, Lakeside 16. Fouled out: Bryant, Cowart; Lakeside, Bland.