LITTLE ROCK — The first meeting of the season of the eighth grade girls teams from[more] Bryant Middle School (Bryant White) and Bethel Middle School (Bryant Blue) was a barn-burner. On the line was a spot in the championship game of the Panther Pride Classic at The Anthony School.
Sparked by a 14-1 run in the second quarter, Bryant White managed a 32-28 victory, advancing to the finals on Friday at 6:30 p.m., against the host team.
Bryant Blue will play next at home on Monday, Nov. 21, at 5:30 p.m., against E-Stem school.
Skylar Davis led White with 14 points including 8 of 14 from the free-throw line. She had five steals as well. Lara White added 11 points and five steals.
For Blue, Britney Sahlman scored 11 points, pulled down eight rebounds and had three steals while Kara Moser pitched in with 7 points.
"I was very pleased with our effort,” said Bryant White coach DeAnna Ward. “They looked like a completely different team than when we played Vilonia. Our press was very effective and the girls really worked hard on defense. We were able to stay in a man to man and had a lot of help-side defense. We were really stressing that this week in practice.”
“Britney Sahlmann played her best game of her middle school career last night,” mentioned Bryant Blue coach Rhonda Hall. “She definitely gave us an opportunity to win. Kara Moser also stepped up big and did some really good things for us.”
Bethel built a 9-4 lead by the end of the first quarter before Bryant White put together its second quarter surge to take an 18-10 lead at the half. It was 26-20 going into the fourth quarter.
“Bethel is a good team with a lot of talented athletes and Coach Hall always gets the most that she can out of her players,” Ward commented. “We knew it would be a tough game and are excited to get the win.
“I am very proud of our girls but we still have some areas to work on,” she concluded. “Our shooting percentages are low and we need to do a better job of executing on offense.”
Shayla McKissock added 4 points for Bryant White. Julianna Ward had 3 points and four rebounds.
For Bryant Blue, Peyton Ramsey and Ashlyn Taylor contributed 4 points each and Anna Turpin had 2. Ramsey hauled down seven rebounds and made two steals. Turpin collected five boards with Taylor and Jordan McKnight each grabbing four.