LITTLE ROCK — The Bryant Blue Lady Hornets eighth grade team of Bethel Middle School faced a tough challenge in the opener of the 2014-15 season on Monday night. But they stayed close to the Anthony School Lady Panthers for three quarters but, with a fourth-quarter surge, the Lady Panthers secured a 23-14 win.
In seventh grade action, the Lady Hornets burst out to a 10-0 lead by the end of the first quarter but had to hold on at the end for a 15-13 win.
For the eighth grade, Lauren Burnett led with 6 points. Rachel Studdard added 4 and Alyssa Fason had 3. Mary Catherine Studdard pitched in with a free throw.
“I thought our defensive effort was great,” said Bethel coach Derek McGrew, who is in his first year as the Lady Hornets’ coach after several as the Blue boys’ mentor. “We would like to hold teams under 25 points and we accomplished that.
“Obviously, scoring 14 points was the problem,” he acknowledged. “We had way too many turnovers and had the first-game jitters.”
Bryant Blue still led 7-5 after a quarter but trailed 10-7 at the half. Anthony School led just 14-11 at the end of the third quarter.
Regarding the Lady Panthers, McGrew related, “This team beat (the Lady Hornets) both times last year so we knew our opponent going in.”
In the seventh grade game, Bethel led 10-0 after a quarter, 11-2 at the half and 13-6 through three periods.
Natalie Harllee led the team with 6 points. Cali Rogers added 4 with Camyrn Ausbrooks and Jada Deaton scoring 2 each. Jodee Sudbury hit a free throw.
The Bethel eighth grade is scheduled to return to action in a tournament at the Anthony School starting Nov. 17. Next on the schedule for the seventh grade is the Wildcat Shootout at Little Rock Episcopal starting Dec. 1.