Hornets fall in 1st round

Bryant senior Deron Canada, 22, goes up for a shot in a 51-38 loss to the Springdale Bulldogs in the first round of the 7A State Tournament in North Little Rock Wednesday.  TONY LENAHAN/The Saline Courier
Tony Lenahan
Sports Editor

Down by 11 points early in the fourth quarter, the Central No. 4 seed Bryant Hornets fought back to make it a three-point game against the West 5 seed Springdale Bulldogs Wednesday, but couldn’t get over that hump in a 51-38 loss in the first-round of the 7A State Tournament in North Little Rock.
“We couldn’t score,” Bryant Coach Mike Abrahamson said. “We scored 68 at Southside and since then it’s been a struggle and I don’t know why. We can’t make shots around the basket, we can’t make shots from three.”
Since defeating Southside 68-64 on the road in mid-February to extend a win streak to three, the Hornets lost four straight to finish out the season, including to Cabot and Conway at home, two teams they defeated on the road earlier in the year. Bryant averaged just 43.3 points per game its final four games.
“The reality is the team I’ve got, we need to score some,” Abrahamson said. “We have to score to keep the energy up, to keep them … it’s just really hard to overcome not scoring with a young team that’s not as deep or big as you’d like. There’s just not room for error. When you score, it keeps that bounce in your step, you start closing out a little bit better, you have active hands.”
The Hornets finish their season 16-12 overall with a 7-7 7A Central Conference record and got back into game Wednesday after Springdale senior center Carl Fitch’s layup made it a 41-30 Bulldogs lead with 6:16 left in the game.
Bryant senior Sam Chumley hit a three to begin an 8-0 run that sophomore Khalen Robinson capped with a steal and layup, hitting 1 of 2 free throws to make it a 41-38 game with 4:25 left, but the Hornets wouldn’t score again.