White Hornets’ first-half run leaves Cabot South behind

For more photos of this event by Kevin Nagle, go here

Gavin Burton (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

CABOT — Khasen Robinson hit a reverse layup with :16 left in the first quarter then opened the second with a 3 that was followed up by a triple from Isaiah Kearney as the Bryant White Hornets eighth-grade team of Bryant Middle School opened up a lead they never relinquished on the way to a 36-27 victory over the Cabot South Panthers on Thursday night.

The Hornets trailed 8-7 before that surge. Kearney’s 3 made it 15-8. The Hornets held the Panthers to 2 points in the second quarter and, when Landyn Newburn hit a 3 from beyond half court to end the half, Bryant White led 20-10.

Robinson led the Hornets with 11 points off the bench. Newburn finished with 9 and Will Diggins had 8.

Bryant White improved to 6-2 on the season. It was their fourth win in a row going into the Christmas break. The Hornets won’t play again until Jan. 18 at home against Conway Blue.

“We played well,” acknowledged Hornets coach John Harrison. “We executed a little bit better in close situations, knocked down some free throws at the end and closed out a pretty good team. They were 7-1 coming in so I knew it was going to be a battle. I thought we shot well and made some good decisions down the stretch. It’s a big win.”

Will Diggins scores inside. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

The Panthers were led by post player Eric Masterson with 17 points and 11 rebounds. He scored 13 of his points in the fourth quarter.

“He’s good, had good footwork and we didn’t have an answer for him,” Johnson noted. “Luckily, they didn’t get the ball to him in the first half. It might’ve been a different outcome. The second half, they gave it to him about every trip down the floor.”

The Hornets did a good job of pressuring the Panthers’ passers to make it difficult to get the ball inside to Masterson from, really, the first three quarters.

“We controlled the tempo a little bit better,” Johnson said. “I don’t think they could get into their sets. It looked like they were going to be a half-court team. We didn’t want them to come down and do what they wanted to do. So, we pressured them a little bit and they didn’t like it.”

Indeed, South had 20 turnovers in the game.

Bryant White fell behind 5-1 at the start of the game but rallied to take a 7-5 lead with Diggins scoring off the offensive glass and Gavin Burton nailing a 3. Turner Seelinger hit a free throw to give the Hornets the 2-point edge.

Isaiah Kearney launches a 3 from the right corner. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

A three-point play by Jose Lopez put the Panthers back on top for a moment before Robinson scored to give Bryant White a 9-8 lead going into the second quarter.

Adding to the 3’s by Robinson and Kearney was Diggins with a basket inside off a nice dish from Newburn.

Cabot South finally broke through in the second quarter with :05 left on a basket inside by Masterson. That’s when Newburn beat the buzzer with the long 3.

To start the second half, Diggins scored off the post and Cabot South immediately took a timeout. But, when play resumed, the Panthers turned the ball over and Robinson cashed it in with a 15-footer, producing Bryant White’s largest lead of the game, 24-10.

It was 26-14 going into the fourth quarter.

Masterson started scoring as the final stanza unfolded but the Hornets always answered. Newburn scored the first 6 points of the quarter for Bryant White. Robinson converted a one-and-one with 1:13 left that made it 34-23. Masterson answered inside and, after a missed opportunity at the line for the Hornets, he scored again with :47 left to cut the margin to 7.

But the Panthers would score no more. Robinson added a pair of free throws to set the final margin.


Score by quarters

Bryant White  9          11        6          10 — 36

Cabot South    8          2          4          13 — 27


Newburn 3-6 2-3 9, Seelinger 0-0 1-4 1, Kearney 1-4 1-2 4, Diggins 4-5 0-1 8, Burton 1-4 0-0 3, Robinson 3-6 4-6 11, Boothe 0-1 0-0 0, C.Carter 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 12-28 (43%) 8-16 (50%) 36.


S.Carter 0-1 0-0 0, Masterson 5-11 7-8 17, Baxter 1-4 0-0 3, Garcia 1-1 0-1 2, Lopez 1-5 1-1 3, Sitzman 0-0 0-0 0, Lang 0-3 0-0 0, Sobczak 1-3 0-0 2, Ennis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 9-28 (32%) 8-10 (80%) 27.

Three-point field goal: Bryant White 4-9 (Burton 1-3, Newburn 1-2, Kearney 1-2, Robinson 1-2), Cabot South 1-7 (Baxter 1-4, Sobczak 0-2, S.Carter 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant White 15, Cabot South 20. Rebounds: Bryant White 2-15 17 (Diggins 2-4 6, Kearney 0-5 5, Burton 0-3 3, Newburn 0-1 1, Seelinger 0-1 1, team 0-1 1), Cabot South 5-19 24 (Masterson 3-8 11, Lopez 1-4 5, Sobczak 0-2 2, Baxter 0-1 1, Sitzman 0-1 1, Lang 1-0 1, team 0-3 3). Team fouls: Bryant White 16, Cabot South 14. Fouled out: Cabot South, Masterson.

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