BENTONVILLE — For any inexperienced basketball team, there will be growing pains. Some lessons have to be learned the hard way.
The Bryant Lady Hornets put together what head coach Brad Matthews said was their best half of basketball this season as they played the Clarksville Lady Panthers even, 15-15, in the first half Thursday at the Crabtree Invitational Classic at Bentonville High School.
But the second half, Clarksville unleashed a defense that the Lady Hornets hadn’t had to deal with so far this young season and road it to a 55-22 victory.
The Lady Hornets wrap up the Classic Saturday morning at 8 against Wynne.
“It was a tough afternoon,” Matthews said. “Clarksville’s got some really good offensive kids.
“In the third quarter, they got in a little half-court trap and we did not execute against it very well,” he related. “It allowed them to get out in transition. That really opened them up and relaxed them. It went from a tie game and we were down 8 or 10 in a couple of minutes.
“From that point on, I thought we lost a little momentum,” the coach concluded. “Once they got out in transition, I thought we went a little flat. We spent a lot of energy in the first half keeping them out of transition, fighting on the boards. They pressed in the first half full court and we did a good job with that. But that’s the first time we saw a 1-3-1, the first time we saw a half-court trap. Against a 1-3-1, I thought we executed pretty well for the first time. Against the half-court trap, we didn’t.”
Raven Loveless, Kelly Williams and Robin Gordon each scored 4 points for Bryant. Riley Hill and Kendal Rogers added 3 each with Mary Catherine Selig and Lania Ratliff scoring 2 apiece.
“We had a good first half,” Matthews said. “Offensively, we’re starting to execute a little bit better in spurts. Hopefully, that’ll continue to build that way, continue to head that direction.
“Hopefully in the morning at 8 o’clock we can build on that,” he said.