Jayla Knight and Kylee Fleharty combined for 21 points as the Bryant White Lady Hornets eighth grade team of Bryant Middle School bounced back from a tough 28-27 loss to North Little Rock the night before with a 33-26 victory over the Cabot North Lady Panters on Tuesday night.
In seventh-grade play, the Lady Hornets led much of the game but fell victim to a Cabot North comeback, absorbing a 23-18 setback.
Knight finished with 11 points including a three-pointer but converted just 2 of 10 free throws. Fleharty added 10 points and Haya Winfield had 4. Lyniyae Johnson and Kiniyah Horton scored 3 each and Brooklyn Welch had 2.
“This was a good win for us,” said Lady Hornets coach Ben Perry. “We were down Lauren Lain, who scored 11 points against North Little Rock, and we needed others to step up.”
The game was tied 9-9 at the end of the first quarter but not without a late Bryant White surge.
“We found ourselves down early 7-0,” Perry said. “But with some great shooting, we hit three 3’s in a row to tie it.”
The 3-point barrage continued in the second quarter and the Lady Hornets surged to a 22-15 halftime advantage.
“We started the third quarter hot and made it a 31-19 game,” said the coach. “I was able to get a lot of kids in and then had to put my starters back in once the score started creeping up, so we didn’t have a repeat of the North Little Rock game where we were ahead and let it slip away from us.
“It was a much-needed win for the girls after their hard work,” said Perry. “They are a good team and if we had won the two close games of the year, it would be a much different-looking record.”
The team is 3-4 on the season.
“It’s not a bad record right now for a team who didn’t win a game last year,” he stated.
The Lady Hornets travel to Conway Blue on Thursday.
“They are tough,” Perry related. “They have a massive post and guard play, so it will be a good test.”
In the seventh-grade game, Cabot North led just 4-2 at the first break but the Lady Hornets surged to a 13-9 lead by halftime and held a 15-10 edge.
“We just let it slip away,” Perry acknowledged. “I warned them before going into the fourth quarter to not get comfortable because 5 points is nothing in basketball. In the first minute, we had three turnovers that led to 6 points. I called timeout to settle them down and right off the bat they did it again. We were now down 5.
“It was a 10-0 run that we never recovered from,” he explained. “The girls didn’t get back on defense and didn’t execute on offense. I could have utilized the bench more to give them some aid, which is a mistake I will remedy for next game.
“They played hard but couldn’t finish the game with a win,” the coach added. “They are a great team and we are improving and getting closer to where we need to be. We have a long way to go but we are learning every week. I am proud of them and how they continue to support one another. We will work hard to get ready for Sylvan Hills. We were just more active in the first half than the second half.”
Brilynn Findley had 12 points for the Lady Hornets. Camille Calhoun added 4 with Arion Pegram and Emiril Jones each pitching in with a free throw.
The seventh-graders finish off the pre-Christmas schedule on Monday, Dec. 17, at Sylvan Hills.