By Rob Patrick
After over two weeks without playing a game, the Bryant Lady Hornets’ game against the Sheridan Lady Jackets on Tuesday, Jan. 6, may have felt like a second season opener.
The Lady Hornets were certainly fresh and quick which boded ill for the Lady Jackets. The Bryant defense forced Sheridan, a team that had handed the Lady Hornets one of their two losses this season, into 32 turnovers on the way to a convincing 71-46 victory.
“I thought we played with as much defensive intensity as we have all year,” declared Lady Hornets head coach Blake Condley. “Our defense set the tone for our offense and it paid off with four girls in double figures.”
Senior Anna Simpson led with 18 points, Alana Morris added 15, Hannah Goshien 13 and Haley Montgomery 10.
Bryant improved to 9-2 on the season going into their 7A-Central Conference opener at Mount St. Mary’s Academy on Friday, Jan. 9.[more]
It was just the second loss of the season for Sheridan in 12 games. The Lady Jackets were coming off an impressive trip to Farmington, N.M., in which they captured a tournament championship that included teams from Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.
Bryant harassed Sheridan into connecting on just 1 of 14 shots from 3-point range to go with the high turnover total.
Sheridan never led. The Lady Hornets led 4-3 early then put together a 14-2 run to gain the upper hand initially.
A steal by Morris and a feed to Simpson started the run. After a pair of missed free throws by Sheridan’s Cecily Houston, Morris scored despite being fouled on a drive to the hoop. Though she was unable to complete the three-point play, Shanika Johnson and Montgomery followed with back-to-back layups.
Bryant forced another turnover and, after a Sheridan timeout, Kenzee Calley, celebrating her 17th birthday, knocked down an 18-foot jumper from the left corner to make it 14-3.
Sheridan’s Katie Hartness ended her team’s four minute scoreless stretch with a jumper but Goshien answered with a long jumper and, after a Simpson steal, added a pair of free throws to cap the blitz.
Bryant led 20-8 going into the second quarter.
Callie Griffith followed her own miss to get Sheridan back within 20-10 and the Lady Jackets had a couple of chances to get closer but Montgomery took a charge to foil the second opportunity and a 3-pointer by Taylor Hughes got Bryant going again.
The Lady Hornets led 34-18 at the half, which was punctuated by a steal and layup by Montgomery in the final minute.
And when Bryant started the second half with an 11-0 run the romp was on. Goshien fed Simpson for a layup to start the half. Calley added an offensive-rebound bucket that Goshien followed with a steal and layup. Simpson knocked down a pair of free throws after another Sheridan turnover and it was 45-18.
Behind Hartness and Holly Gibbs, Sheridan whittled the lead to 17 before the end of the third quarter but could get no closer. Montgomery’s three-point play then steal and layup in the final minute bumped the margin to 57-35 going into the final eight minutes.
Down the stretch, the Lady Jackets couldn’t get the lead under 20.