CONWAY — One team shot 21 free throws and the other one shot 8. Which team was playing at home?
The Bryant White Lady Hornets eighth-grade team of Bryant Middle School converted just one of its eight free throws and struggled from the field as well in a 34-21 setback against the Conway Blue Lady Cats at Buzz Bolding Arena on Thursday night.
Conway Blue converted 12 of its 21 shots from the line on the way to the victory.
Neither team really shot that well from the floor, but the Lady Cats hit two more 3-pointers and those extra free throws.
The Lady Hornets would drive to the basket and miss, sometimes badly, often enough as they were being bumped without a whistle sounding. Conway Blue was cited for just six fouls in the game.
“We missed 13 open layups and a multitude of second and third and ever fourth shots,” acknowledged Lady Hornets coach Ben Perry. “We dominated rebounding, 43-31. However, we just cold not make it into the basket.
“We were off and there was nothing I could do,” he added. “We were getting the shots we wanted, getting steals and layups. We just could not make it in the bucket.
“This is eighth-grade girls basketball,” the coach said. “Sometimes they can hit and sometimes they go through a drought. Turning the ball over 19 times didn’t help either. Just wasn’t our night. It’s aggravating when we lose to a team when we are not playing our best. We know we can play better.”
Perry noted that it was the Lady Hornets’ third game this week.
“We will rest up and get ready for Sylvan Hills on Monday,” he said.
Bryant White held a lead for most of the first half, starting 3-0 thanks to a long-range jumper by Lyniyae Johnson. After Conway Blue’s Allie McMillen tied it, Johnson scored off the offensive boards and Jayla Knight followed up with a driving jumper, making it 7-2.
But the Lady Hornets would not manage another field goal until just :36.5 remained in the half when Kiniyah Horton drove for a basket. In the interim, there was only a free throw by Haya Winfield.
Still, the Lady Hornets held a lead until Ashauni Corley hit a 3 with 3:11 left in the half, tying the game 8-8. McMillen added a free throw then Corley splashed another triple and it was 12-8.
And when Horton broke the Bryant drought, it was just a 12-10 deficit for the Lady Hornets. Two free throws by Corley in the final minute made it a 4-point game at the half.
Bryant White stayed with the Lady Cats for most of the third quarter. With under a minute left in the period, Winfield scored to cut it to 20-16. The Lady Hornets had a chance to get closer but a trip to the free throw line came up empty and, in the final 20 seconds, Corley and teammate Kamille Brown each scored to extend the margin to 24-16 going into the final stanza.
A three-point play by McMillen after neither team had scored over the first 1:30 of the fourth gave Conway Blue a commanding 27-16 lead.
After Silondra Ingraham added two free throws to make it a 13-point lead, Johnson drove for a basket and Kylee Fleharty hit a 3.
The margin was down to 29-21 but there remained less than two minutes to play and the Lady Cats closed with a flurry to close out the win.
Johnson finished with a team-high 7 points with 14 rebounds. Jayla Knight added 4 points. Fleharty and Haya Winfield scored 3 each while Lauren Lain and Saniyah Ellison finished with 2 apiece.
McMillen and Corley finished with 10 each for Conway Blue.
The Lady Hornets return to action on Monday night at Sylvan Hills, wrapping up their pre-Christmas schedule.
LADY CATS 34, LADY HORNETS 21
Score by quarters
Bryant White 7 3 6 5 — 21
Conway Blue 4 10 10 10 — 34
LADY HORNETS 21
Fleharty 1-7 0-0 3, Knight 2-13 0-2 4, Welch 0-2 0-0 0, Johnson 3-6 0-0 7, Winfield 1-5 1-2 3, Lain 1-8 0-2 2, Ellison 0-1 0-2 0, Horton 1-1 0-0 2, Danzy 0-0 0-0 0. Totals9-43 (21%) 1-8 (13%) 21.
LADY CATS 34
McMillen 3-8 2-3 10, J.Brown 1-3 1-4 3, Corley 3-10 2-2 10, Boudrie 0-5 3-6 3, Wilchie 0-4 1-2 1, Killian 0-4 0-0 0, K.Brown 2-6 0-0 4, Ingraham 0-1 3-4 3. Totals9-41 (22%) 12-21 (57%) 34.
Three-point field goals:Bryant White 2-8 (Fleharty 1-4, Johnson 1-2, Lain 0-1, Ellison 0-1), Conway Blue 4-7 (Corley 2-4, McMillen 2-3). Turnovers:Bryant White 19, Conway Blue 13. Rebounds:Bryant White 21-22 43 (Johnson 6-8 14, Winfield 3-4 7, Lain 3-3 6, Knight 4-1 5, Fleharty 0-3 3, Welch 0-2 2, Ellison 0-1 1, Horton 0-1 1, team 3-1 4), Conway Blue 14-17 31 (Wilchie 2-3 5, Corley 1-3 4, Killian 1-3 4, J.Brown 1-2 3, Boudrie 1-2 3, K.Brown 1-2 3, McMillen 1-0 1, Ingraham 1-0 1, team 5-2). Team fouls:Bryant White 11, Conway Blue 6.