Photos by Kevin Nagle
Natalie Harllee and Casey Welch combined for 21 points as the Bryant Blue Lady Hornets eighth grade team of Bethel Middle School pinned a 27-14 loss on the North Little Rock Lady Charging Wildcats eighth grade team at the Bryant Middle School gym on Monday night.
Truli Bates added 4 points to go with 10 rebounds. Jada Deaton finished with 2 points and Cali Rogers finished with seven boards, matching Harllee.
The Lady Hornets host Little Rock Episcopal on Thursday, Jan. 28, then wrap up the regular season on Monday, Feb. 1, at Bryant White.
Bryant Blue held North Little Rock to just four field goals and 11 percent shooting from the field (4 of 38), while out-rebounding them 46-30. The up-and-down contest included 28 turnovers for each team.
A 6-1 start got the Bethel girls on the way to their victory. Harllee hit a layup off a steal to get things going. Later, she scored off the offensive glass. After a North Little Rock free throw, Deaton made steals on consecutive possessions and cashed in the second one with a layup to make it 6-1.
The Lady Cats managed their first field goal at the 1:29 mark of the first quarter. Harllee hit a pull-up jumper in the final seconds to make it 8-3 going into the second.
Welch opened the period with a bucket then North Little Rock trimmed the lead to 10-6. But Welch added a free throw and Bates hit the offensive glass for a basket to make it 13-6 at the half.
The Lady Hornets then held the Lady Cats scoreless for the first 4:11 of the second half. Harllee hit a free throw then Welch knocked down a jumper in the lane. Deaton blocked a shot and it led to an offensive-rebound basket at the other end from Harllee.
Bates added a free throw to make it 19-6 before North Little Rock’s only points of the quarter with 1:49 left.
The Lady Cats whittled the lead to 19-11 early in the final period but Bates came down with a rebound and was fouled with 4:28 to go. She made one of her two free throws. After a North Little Rock miss, Harllee rebounded and drove to the other end for a layup that pushed the margin to 11.
After a free throw by the Lady Cats, Welch scored. Moments later, she grabbed the rebound off a missed North Little Rock free throw and, like Harllee earlier, when coast to coast for a basket. She was fouled and completed the three-point play to put the capper on the victory.