Bryant’s freshman girls edged at conference tourney

CABOT — When the fourth and fifth seeded teams get together in a tournament, it’s bound to be a close game. And when those two teams are the 2019 versions of the Bryant Lady Hornets and Lake Hamilton Lady Wolves freshmen, it was just about guaranteed.

They’d played twice before this season and Lake Hamilton had prevailed 35-30 and 41-36. The Lady Hornets were hoping for a little payback on Monday night in the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference post-season tournament at Cabot South.

They had a shot at the end but it refused to go in and Lake Hamilton survived to advance at the tournament with a 45-43 win.

The loss ended the Lady Hornets’ season. They were 10-10 overall and 4-4 in conference.

 “Our girls competed all game long, just as they have all year,” said Bryant coach Nathan Castaldi. “Every game except one we have been in during the fourth quarter, and in this conference that is saying something. 

“I am extremely proud of how these girls have matured as players,” he added. “They are very coachable which has made it an enjoyable year and I look for them to have success both on the court and off as they move into high school.”

Lake Hamilton managed a 13-10 lead by the end of the first quarter. But Bryant rallied to lead 23-18 at the half.

“We started off a little slow the first quarter but towards the end of that quarter we started to speed the game up and the momentum was going in our way,” said Castaldi. “The second quarter we played about as well as we had all year. We moved the ball offensively and got good shots. On the defensive end, we frustrated Lake Hamilton into missed shots and some mistakes. 

“For about three minutes in the third quarter, we got away from our game plan just a little and that was when Lake Hamilton was able to take advantage,” he continued.

Still, Bryant held a 32-30 advantage at the end of the period.

“They took the lead early in the fourth and it would have been easy to fold but our girls battled back and we had a shot in the last minute to take the lead, it just would not fall,” mentioned the coach.

Daria Greer led the Lady Hornets with 13 points. Parris Atkins added 12 and Jordan Hancock had 9. Caitlin LaCerra pitched in with 6, ShaMya Jordan 2 and Emma Chappell hit a free throws.

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