For more photos from this event by Kevin Nagle, go here
PEARCY — Lauren Taylor hit a layup off a nice drive-and-dish by Jaiyah Jackson with 10 seconds left in the game to provide the difference as the Bryant White Lady Hornets eighth grade team of Bryant Middle School edged the Lake Hamilton Lady Wolves eighth grade at the Lake Hamilton High School Monday night.
The Lady Wolves had a chance to tie or win the game with :00.7 showing but Aspen Thornton missed two free throws.
Taylor’s game-winner was her only basket of the game, though she finished with a game-high nine rebounds.
Kristyn Weng, despite first-half foul trouble led the Lady Hornets with 12 points including a pair of clutch 3’s in the second half. Kaitlyn Weng also hit a pair of 3’s on the way to 9 points. Divine Robinson’s 5 points included a 3 as well as the Lady Hornets seemed to hit clutch shot after clutch shot to hold off a fourth-quarter comeback by Lake Hamilton. Jackson had 4 points for Bryant White.
“We outscored them three out of four quarters which was nice, however, the fourth quarter was our downfall,” said Lady Hornets coach Ben Perry, whose team lead by as much as 11 in the third quarter. “They had a good press and, even though we broke the press most of the time, we began to play their game in a hurry-up style instead of our tempo game.
“Looking back at the book, it does make me a little frustrated that the other team shot 20 free throws to our seven,” he noted. “Even more upsetting is that we only made 1 of 7 from the free throw line as they made 11 of 20. We gave up too many free shots and it made a huge difference. Even though we played an away game, we must be more disciplined and not give up free points.
“All in all, I was still very proud of the girls,” the coach concluded. “They played tough, moved the ball around, and pulled out a win against an extremely good team. Half the girls on that team play for the ninth grade while four of them start for the ninth grade.
“We still have to work on our press offense and post play but every week we make improvements,” Perry said. “If the girls continue to work hard they should have a very good season. Very proud of these girls.”
Bryant White led from the outset. Jackson made a steal and drove for a layup then made another theft that led to Kristyn Weng’s first bucket. A free throw and a basket by Lake Hamilton’s Breanna Nash cut it to 4-3 going into the final seconds of the quarter. And the Lady Wolves had a chance to take the lead only to have Kaitlyn Weng make a steal that she cashed in with a 3 at the buzzer.
Robinson started the second quarter with a 15-foot jumper and it was 9-3.
A layup by Kaitlyn Weng and a 3 by Robinson pushed the lead to 14-7 later in the quarter. A free throw by Nash had the Lady Wolves within 6 at the intermission.
Sparked by Tia Mullinex, one of those who starts for the freshman team, the Lady Wolves cut it to 2.
Rachel Buck scored to keep Bryant White ahead. After Mullinex answered inside, Kristyn Weng drilled a 15-footer to push it to 18-14.
An illegal screen cost the Lady Wolves and Kaitlyn Weng took advantage with her second triple as the Lady Hornets got a run going. Mullinex, who scored all of her 7 points in the quarter — the only one she played — trimmed the lead with a free throw but Kristyn Weng’s trey and Jackson’s running jumper extended the Bryant White advantage to 26-15.
A layup from Nash made it a 9-point game going into the fourth quarter.
Other starters from the freshman team sparked Lake Hamilton’s push in the final period. Hayleigh Wyrick scored 5 points during the rally and Thornton added 2.
Still, the Lady Hornets held them off until the 2:18 mark when Aryn Hughes converted two free throws.
But Kristyn Weng countered with her second 3 to put Bryant White back on top. Nash hit a free throw but Kristyn Weng followed up her own miss to make it 32-29 with 1:22 to go.
Hughes posted up for a basket and the Lady Hornets suffered a turnover. In shades of things to come, Thornton missed the front end of a one-and-one with :28.5 showing. But, with :23.9 to go, Hughes converted twice at the stripe to give her team a 33-32 edge.
That led to Taylor’s big basket in the closing moments.
Now 3-2 on the season including three wins in a row, the Lady Hornets return to action on Monday, Dec. 5, when they host Lighthouse Charter of Jacksonville.
BRYANT WHITE 34, LAKE HAMILTON 33
Eighth grade girls basketball
Score by quarters
BRYANT WHITE 7 7 12 8 — 34
Lake Hamilton 3 5 9 16 — 33
LADY HORNETS 34
Jackson 2-6 0-2 4, Kr.Weng 5-9 0-0 12, Buck 1-2 0-0 2, Taylor 1-4 0-0 2, Ka.Weng 3-8 1-2 9, Oyemia 0-3 0-0 0, Rose 0-0 0-2 0, Robinson 2-5 0-0 5, Alvarado 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-37 1-6 34.
LADY WOLVES 33
Humphreys 0-0 0-0 0, Higginbotham 0-2 2-2 2, Nash 4-10 3-7 11, Richens 0-1 0-0 0, Domingue 0-2 0-0 0, Pippen 0-0 0-0 0, Hughes 1-3 4-4 6, Mullinex 3-8 1-2 7, Wozniak 0-0 0-0 0, Thornton 1-1 0-3 2, Wyrick 2-3 1-3 5. Totals 11-30 11-21 33.
Three-point field goals: Bryant White 5-18 (Ka.Weng 2-6, Kr.Weng 2-4, Robinson 1-3, Jackson 0-2, Oyemia 0-2, Buck 0-1), Lake Hamilton 0-2 (Nash 0-2). Turnovers: Bryant White 13, Lake Hamilton 14. Rebounds: Bryant 11-14 25 (Taylor 5-4 9, Buck 1-3 4, Jackson 1-2 3, Kr.Weng 1-1 2, Ka.Weng 2-0 2, Robinson 0-2 2, Alvarado 0-1 1, team 1-1 2), Lake Hamilton 9-14 23 (Nash 1-2 3, Domingue 1-2 3, Mullinex 0-3 3, Wyrick 2-1 3, Higganbotham 2-0 2, Humphreys 0-1 1, Richens 1-0 1, Pippen 0-1 1, team 2-4 6). Team fouls: Bryant 16, Lake Hamilton 7.