Photos by Kevin Nagle
The Conway White Lady Wampus Cats freshman team put together a 10-1 run over the last few minutes of the third quarter and the first few minutes of the fourth to gain the upper hand against the Bryant Lady Hornets Thursday night. Bryant, which was even with the Lady Cats with 3:33 left in the third quarter, eventually whittled the 9-point deficit down the 4 but couldn’t get all the way back in time as Conway White held on for a 33-27 win at Bryant Middle School gym.
Maggie Evans scored 9 points and collected 11 rebounds for the Lady Cats. Erica Lewis added 8 points and J.J. Tufu 6.
Destiny Martin paced Bryant’s offense with 10 points despite some foul trouble along the way. Macey Jaramillo added 5 points and Allysa Kubiako 4. Kendal Rogers led all rebounders with 13 in the game. Lania Ratliff had eighth for the Lady Hornets.
“I thought we got good looks all game,” stated Bryant coach Nathan Castaldi. “We had some turnovers in the first half but we executed. It was a good job by the girls of going out and carrying over the game plan and getting the shots we wanted. They just didn’t fall. Hopefully, they’ll fall next week.
“It doesn’t get any easier,” he added. “We’ve got Cabot (South) and North Little Rock away next week. We need a couple of good days of practice before we get back at it.”
North Little Rock leads the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference with an unbeaten record versus the league. Cabot South’s lone loss in conference play was to North Little Rock.
The Lady Hornets are now 9-10 overall and 2-2 in league play. Their trip to Cabot South is Monday.
Thursday night’s game was tight throughout. The lead changed hands four times in the first quarter. After Riley Hill’s two free throws gave Bryant a 6-5 lead, K.K. Grigsby tied it but a reverse layup by Kubiako gave the Lady Hornets a lead they held until the break.
And when Rogers hit a basket inside to start the second-quarter scoring, the Lady Hornets had their largest lead of the game, 10-6 with 3:56 left in the half. But a dry spell followed. Over the rest of the half, Bryant added just 2 points on free throws by Martin. They had couple of other trips to the line but both came up empty.
And Conway White gained the lead on a basket by Tufu with 2:05 left in the half, 13-12.
Another opportunity at the free-throw line to open the third quarter came to naught for the Lady Hornets. But, after Evans converted a free throw and Sarah Kennedy scored for Bryant, the game was tied at 14.
Lewis answered with a 3 but Kennedy fed Ratliff for a basket. Evans scored off an offensive rebound and the Lady Cats had a chance to increase the 18-16 lead. But Jaramillo made a steal and a layup to knot it at 18.
The tale-tell run began with two free throws by Grigsby. A 3 by Lewis made it 23-18 going into the fourth quarter.
Eventually, Conway White’s advantage grew to 28-19 then 30-21 with 2:16 left. Martin scored off a drive, followed up with a steal and a layup, trimming the margin to 5. Tufu hit a free throw but another basket off a drive by Martin had the Lady Hornets with 31-27 with 1:15 left.
But that’s the last that the Lady Hornets were able to score. Lewis put the finishing touches on the win with a 15-footer with 1:05 to go.
The Lady Cats gave Bryant a chance after that by taking a shot in the final minute. But, after it missed, Jaramillo had a 3-point try rejected by Anna Lee Drennan, putting a cap on the Lady Hornets’ frustration.
LADY WAMPUS CATS 33, LADY HORNETS 27
Score by quarters
Conway White 6 7 10 10 — 33
Bryant 8 4 6 9 — 27
LADY WAMPUS CATS 33
Tufu 2-8 2-5 6, Lewis 3-9 0-0 8, Grigsby 1-6 3-4 5, Evans 3-5 3-7 9, Drennan 1-3 0-1 2, Sipes 0-5 0-0 0, Hughes 1-6 1-2 3, Broyles 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 11-42 9-19 33.
LADY HORNETS 27
Martin 3-8 4-9 10, Rogers 1-4 0-1 2, Jaramillo 2-6 1-1 5, Kennedy 1-2 0-0 2, Hill 0-3 2-2 2, Kubiako 1-4 0-1 2, Ratliff 1-8 0-0 2, Rayford 0-0 0-0 0, McCormick 0-1 0-0 0, Ward 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 10-35 7-13 27.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 0-4 (Jaramillo 0-4), Conway White 2-10 (Lewis 2-5, Tufu 0-2, Sipes 0-2, Hughes 0-1). Rebounds: Bryant 34 (Rogers 13, Ratliff 8), Conway White 33 (Evans 11). Turnovers: Bryant 11, Conway White 7. Team fouls: Bryant 15, Conway White 14.