CLASSIC CHAMPS: Hornets handle Tigers for win

Bryant sophomore Khalen Robinson takes a shot in the Bryant Tip Off last month. Robinson scored a season-high 17 points to lead the Hornets to a 58-49 victory over Bentonville Friday to win the Bentonville Classic. RICK NATION/Special to The Saline Courier
Tony Lenahan
Sports Editor

The Bryant Hornets are the Bentonville Classic champions after defeating host Bentonville Tigers 58-49 Friday to go 3-0 in the classic and improve to 4-0 overall on the season. Bryant defeated the NWA Hornets, a home school team, 78-59 on Wednesday and shellacked the Clarksville Panthers 70-18 on Thursday for its title run.
On Friday, Bentonville got off to a good start and led the Hornets 21-16 after one quarter.
“Every game they’ve played this year they start off really hot,” Bryant Coach Mike Abrahamson said of the Tigers. “That’s something we wanted to prevent from happening. They score a lot early. They’ve got great shooters and probably all five of their starters are college players at some level; I know two of them are definite DIs. They really start games well. They hit some tough shots. The only thing that really kept us in it was that we were scoring, too, to keep it close.”
But, the Hornets made some adjustments in the second quarter and held Bentonville to just four points, while Bryant kept scoring. The Hornets led 31-25 at the break.
“The second quarter, our guys just really did a good job of settling in defensively and adjusting to guarding what they wanted to get - not letting certain guys get clean looks,” Abrahamson said. “They just really did a great job and kept scoring on the offensive end.”
It was all Hornets in the third quarter as they kept up the defensive pressure and led 49-35 going into the final quarter.
The Hornets will move from their classic win into the Jammin’ for Jackets tournament this week in Little Rock, which Bryant plays McClellan at Hall High School at 4 p.m.