NORTH LITTLE ROCK — On Nov. 29, the Bryant White Lady Hornets eighth-grade team of Bryant Middle School hosted North Little Rock Gold and suffered a 40-26 defeat. In the rematch on Thursday night at North Little Rock High School, the Gold Lady Charging Wildcats barely escaped with a 31-29 win.
“It was a game that we played with tremendous heart and determination,” said Lady Hornets coach Ben Perry. “We made a few mistakes and took a few cuts and bruises. We had a girl who got an elbow to the eye on a layup — no foul called with 30 seconds left — and was bleeding down her face. She was removed from the game with the reassurance from the ref that there was no contact. I guess her face just blew up.
“We had a shot to tie it and then a rebound and shot to tie it with 15 seconds left,” the coach added. “The ball just didn’t fall in our favor. It was a tough game and I am proud of all of them. They came from behind to be up by 6 but critical free throws and careless decisions allowed North Little Rock to surge ahead at 40 seconds left in the game. It was a very hard played game and we can’t wait until our rematch next week.”
The Lady Hornets host North Little Rock on Thursday, Jan. 31 after hosting Hot Springs on Monday night.
Jayla Knight led Bryant White with 13 points. Haya Winfeidl scored 9 and Kylee Fleharty added 7.
North Little Rock Gold led 8-5 at the end of the first quarter.
“We were down by as many as 14 to 7 in the second quarter,” Perry said. “We pressed them hard and were able to make a 10-0 run to take the lead.”
That lead was 15-14 and the Lady Hornets maintained in the third quarter, taking a 23-20 lead into the fourth.
“With foul trouble in the second half we were not able to press as much to change the game,” Perry related. “Free throws and penetration in the lane became an issue for both teams but the misses we encountered came at a critical moment in the game.
“Kylie took the elbow to the eye after being told to go for the layup no matter who is in the way and go up strong,” he added. “She did as she was told sacrificing her body in the process and did not get rewarded with a favorable call. She went in as instructed and I am very proud of her.
“Haya Winfield had a great night down low and Jayla reduced her troublesome turnovers and improved her ability to finish layups,” the coach mentioned. “It was a great game. Free throws were 9 of 22 which was the turning point in the game as compared to their 9 for 20. Lots of free throws, lots of missed opportunities.”