Bryant turns early lead into comfortable victory

BRYANT- The Bryant Hornets led early and often in cruising to a 56-38 victory over the Fort Smith Southside Rebels on Tuesday night. The Hornets improve to 2-0 on the year.
“I’m pleased,” Bryant Coach Mike Abrahamson said. “I thought we played really hard. I thought they played hard and they did what they were coached to do. That’s encouraging to me.”
The Bryant Hornets were led by junior forward Greyson Giles, who finished the night with 16 points. All-Conference junior point guard Tyler Simmons added 11 points including 3 of 4 from the free-throw line. The Fort Smith Southside Rebels were led by CJ Moore who finished with 11 points and Mitchell Spradlin who added nine points and nine rebounds.
The Hornets led only 11-9 at the end of a fast-paced first quarter, but both teams would warm up in the second quarter with Bryant holding onto a 27-22 lead at halftime. The Rebels would manage just 16 points the rest of the game.
“[We] tried to keep the pressure on them and challenge every shot,” Abrahamson said on defensive adjustments at halftime. “We thought if we kept the pressure on them, we might be able to create some more turnovers and wear on them a little bit. Challenging every shot was [important].”
The Hornets would do just that in forcing the Rebels into 21 turnovers on the night after turning up the pressure in the second half. The Hornets led 44-30 after the third quarter and never looked back outscoring the Rebels 29-16 in the second half.
“It was just kind of let’s [become] comfortable and get into our flow. I thought we were getting good shots,” Abrahamson said. “Offensively I thought we just kind of settled there in the second half. It helps when you make shots.”
Along with Giles and Simmons, the Hornets got 11 points from junior guard CJ Rainey including 2 of 2 from the three-point line. Senior forward Zach Cambron and sophomore guard KJ Hill each added six points. Senior guard Skyler McKissock chipped in with five points while senior guard Aaron Bell finished with 1 point.

*Published Thursday in The Saline Courier. A selection of local sports stories is published online, but for complete access to content, subscribe to our print or electronic edition today by calling 501-315-8228.