BRYANT- The Bryant Hornets made nine 3-pointers in a 65-52 victory over the Lake Hamilton Wolves on Tuesday night. The Bryant Hornets improve to 13-7 (2-4) on the year.
“We’re going to have to be a team that does shoot it well,” Bryant Coach Mike Abrahamson said. “It’s hard work. There’s a comfort level out there that we haven’t seen all year in terms of our shooters.”
The Bryant Hornets and the Lake Hamilton Wolves battled back and forth in the first half. Junior guard Tyler Simmons opened the scoring with a 3-pointer to give Bryant the early lead. Lake Hamilton would answer back with a quick 5-0 run that would be answered by junior forward Brian Reed’s layup with 5:48 left in the first to tie the score. After trading baskets throughout the quarter, Bryant held a 14-12 lead at the end of the first. The second quarter also opened up with a 3-pointer, this time by Lake Hamilton’s guard Andrew Broadbent to give the Wolves the lead. A tightly-contested second quarter saw the Bryant Hornets clinging to a one-point lead at halftime, 26-25.
The third quarter provided the majority of the scoring as both teams came out shooting. Lake Hamilton opened up the quarter with a jumper from Malik Blevins. Bryant would answer with a 6-0 run capped by a steal and layup from Reed to lead 32-27 with 5:16 left in the third. It was a lead they would not relinquish.
“That kid has been a battler for us here lately,” Abrahamson said of Reed. “[He] attacked the basket well which is something we know he can do.”
Along with Reed, the Hornets shot well all night to control the game. Bryant would use another 6-0 run capped off by a Simmons layup to increase their lead to 45-33 with 2:16 remaining in the third and eventually would lead 47-38 at the end of the third. The fourth quarter opened with Simmons’ fifth 3-pointer to give Bryant a 12-point lead with 7:42 remaining in the game. The Hornets did a good job in winning the board battle with a final margin of 30-18.
“That’s a stat we look at every game,” Abrahamson said of his team’s rebounding. “I thought we did well throughout the course of the night. I’m proud of their effort on the rebounding.”
Lake Hamilton would make things interesting late in the fourth with two free throws from Blevins in cutting the Bryant lead to 55-49 with 3:03 left in the game, but that is as close as the Wolves could get. Bryant would increase their lead late thanks to some clutch free throws from junior guard CJ Rainey and sophomore guard KJ Hill.
Simmons led the Bryant scoring with 20 points including five 3-pointers and added three rebounds and two steals. Hill finished the night with 18 points including 5 of 6 from the free-throw line and six rebounds, while Reed ended up with 11 points, seven rebounds and a steal. Lake Hamilton was led by Blevins, who tallied up 17 points and six rebounds while Broadbent chipped in with 15 points all coming from the 3-point line.