PEARCY — The slow-down still works sometimes.
The Centerpoint Lady Knights managed to gain the upper hand on the Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team in the finals of the Kameron Hale Invitational Tournament at Lake Hamilton High School and worked the ball despite pressure defense on the way to a 27-21 victory and the tourney title.
“We started off well the first quarter, jumping to an early lead,” said Lady Hornets coach Nathan Castaldi. “We were able to control the tempo the first quarter and play at a fast pace like we wanted. Some foul trouble took us out of our comfort zone and, from the second quarter on, Centerpoint really controlled the pace.
“They slowed the game way down limiting our offensive possessions,” he continued. “They had two really good guards and they were able to handle the ball until they got exactly the shot they wanted.
“The second half, once they got a lead, they would work the ball for a couple of minutes until one of their guards found an opening for a shot,” the coach related. “We tried to speed them up a little by pressuring but, once again, their two guards were able to handle the ball well enough to get through our pressure. I think we only had four possessions the entire fourth quarter.”
Parris Atkins led the Lady Hornets with 8 points. Daria Green added 6, Jordan Hancock 4 and Caitlin LaCerra 3.
“Hats off to Centerpoint,” said Castaldi. “They had a good game plan and their guards were able to execute it to perfection. They are undefeated on the season and, after playing them, I understand why.”
Atkins was named to the all-tournament team.
“I was proud of our girls for the week,” Castaldi added. “We came over and played three good teams and each played a different style of basketball. This should help us as we enter into the meat of our conference season.”
The Lady Hornets, now 5-6 overall and 0-1 in league play, returns to conference action on Monday, Jan. 7, at home against Cabot South.