Photos by Kevin Nagle
When Casey Welch grabbed the rebound off a teammate’s missed shot and scored halfway through the first quarter, the Bryant Blue Lady Hornets eighth grade team of Bethel Middle School had a 3-2 lead over the Conway Blue Lady Cats.
That held for nearly a minute before Conway Blue began to solve the Lady Hornets’ defense and put together a 14-3 run, though it took the rest of the half to get that.
The Lady Cates went on to a 31-16 win on Monday night at Bryant Middle School gym.
Welch, who led her team with 8 points, matching Conway’s Brittney Williams for game-high honors, provided the only interruption to the Lady Cats’ surge, hitting a 3-pointer with 3:21 left in the half.
Conway Blue extended the 16-6 halftime lead to 20-6 in the third quarter before Jada Deaton hit a running jumper for Bethel. Williams scored then Cali Rogers converted a free throw and Deaton scored again with a buzzer-beater to make it 22-11 going into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Hornets had three chances to narrow the gap further early in the fourth quarter, making it to the free throw line. But free throws refused to go in for them.
Essence Williams knocked down a 3 with 2:58 left, cutting Conway Blue’s lead to 24-14.
But the Lady Cats closed the game with a 7-2 run that, again, was only interrupted by a basket by Welch.
Neither team shot free throws well. The Lady Hornets were 2 of 13 while the Lady Cats were 3 of 11.
Bethel is scheduled to play at Sheridan tonight.