CONWAY — Paige Adams knocked down a 3-pointer with :31 left in the second overtime then saved a rebound off a miss by Conway White to teammate Raven Loveless allowing the Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team to extract a 33-31 win over the Lady Wampus Cats on Thursday night.
Though they came up a win short of advancing to the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference post-season tournament, the Lady Hornets will thus have a fond memory of their final game of the 2014-15 basketball season.
Adams finished with a game-high 14 points. Loveless added 10 points and 16 rebounds for Bryant. Jalen Sparks had 3 points. Daniele Singleton, Stephanie Cullen and Kelly Williams added 2 each.
It was a credit to Adams that she not only hit the game-winning 3, she hit two free throws after getting fouled on a 3-point try to cut the Conway White lead to 31-30 with :43.4 to go in the second OT. The Bryant point guard had put her team in position to win in regulation too with a pair of free throws with 1:18 left in the fourth quarter. That had Bryant up 26-20.
After a Conway turnover, the Lady Cats were able to make a steal and a layup to make it a 4-point game. After a timeout, Adams was fouled with :40.4 to go but missed the front end of the one-and-one. The carom went out of bounds off of a Conway White player, however, and, with :33.6 to go, Adams was fouled again.
Much to her frustration, the first free throw of the bonus opportunity refused to fall and, this time, Conway rebounded, rushed up the floor and scored with :16 to go.
With the lead down to 26-24, Adams started to work the ball into the front court. But she went to the floor. No foul was called for a trip and, Conway scored at the buzzer to send it into the first overtime.
In the three-minute extra period, Loveless gave Bryant the lead with two free throws but Conway got those back, tying it at 28 with 1:02 left. The Lady Hornets worked the clock until Loveless was fouled with :15.1 showing. But her shots just would not fall and when Conway missed a 3 at the buzzer, the second overtime was on.
Conway took a 31-28 lead but left three free throws unconverted including two with :53.8 to go. Momenst later, Adams was fouled on a 3-point try and hit the first and the third shots to cut it to 1.
Loveless followed up with a steal in the Bryant press. She drove until she was cut off just inside the 3-point arc on the right side of the lane. Loveless dished to Adams who nailed the 3 that wound up being the difference-maker.
The game was tight early. Conway White led 10-8 after a quarter then scored the first 4 points of the second stanza. Williams knocked down a 10-foot jumper and, after another Conway bucket, Cullin followed a steal by Maddie Miller with a 16-footer. And when Singleton scored with :20 left in the half, Bryant was back within 16-14 at intermission.
After she’d made a steal, Sparks hit a free throw to start the second half scoring. Conway answered with a basket. Adams hit a free throw and, after a Conway miss, drove for a basket to tie it at 18.
A free throw for the Lady Cats snapped the tie but Singleton made a steal and fed Adams for a layup that gave Bryant a 20-19 lead going into the fourth. Baskets by Loveless and Sparks helped the Lady Hornets maintain the lead before Conway White’s rally in the final minute of regulation.
Bryant finishes the season 5-19 overall, 2-7 in league play.