Conway White’s length, skill too much for Lady Hornets

CONWAY — The top two girls’ teams in the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference are from Conway. The Blue Lady Cats are unbeaten going into the final night of the regular season and the White Lady Cats have just one loss in league play.

On Thursday night at Buzz Bolding Arena, the White Lady Cats kept pace with the Blue team with a 49-33 win over the Bryant Lady Hornets.

“They’re skilled, one through five,” noted Bryant coach Nathan Castaldi. “That makes it tough.”

In particular, the Lady Cats have two tall players that can handle the ball well and shoot it. Chloe Clardy scored 18 points and Kalayna King had 9. Mya Boxley added 10 to lead Conway White to the victory.

The Lady Hornets, now 9-9 overall and 3-4 in league play, stayed with them for a while. In the third quarter, however, Conway White held Bryant to 4 points, building a 15-point lead. Bryant’s Jordan Hancock made a steal and a layup to start the fourth quarter, trimming the lead to 41-28 but that was as close as the Lady Hornets could get.

“I think offensively, we executed really well,” Castaldi said. “We got shots we wanted. We attacked the rim. We made them guard for a few passes to create some openings.

“I just think defensively, in the second half, we didn’t execute as well,” he added. “They got some open shots and we didn’t rebound as well the second half. We let them stretch the lead.”

Daria Greer led the Lady Hornets with 12 points. Parris Atkins and Hancock each had 8. Caitlin LaCerra hit a 3-pointer and ShaMya Jordan added a basket.

The Lady Hornets fell behind 5-0 initially but battled back to tie the game 8-8, a run capped by a driving layup by Greer and a 15-foot jumper by Atkins. Clardy answered but Green drove again and knotted it at 10.

Conway White, however, put together a 9-2 surge to end the quarter with a 19-12 lead.

Greer scored to start the second quarter but Clardy hit a 3 and Boxley converted free throws and the lead fluctuated from 9 to 12 after that. 

Trailing 31-20, the Lady Hornets beat the buzzer with a layup by Hancock after Atkins had blocked a shot by Conway White’s Alex Jolivette.

The Lady Hornets’ third-quarter points came after the Lady cats had boosted their advantage to 35-22. Atkins scored then Greer added a pair of free throws to make it 35-26 with 2:26 left in the quarter. 

But Bryant didn’t score again until Hancock’s basket to open the fourth quarter.

There was a stark disparity in the game. Conway was 12 of 20 from the free-throw line while Bryant was just 3 for 5.

The Lady Hornets have qualified for the conference tournament in Cabot. They will battle rival Benton for the number five seed in their final regular-season contest Monday at the Bryant Middle School gym.

LADY CATS 49, LADY HORNETS 33

Freshman

Score by quarters

BRYANT           12        10        4          7 — 33

Conway White19        12        10        8 — 49

LADY HORNETS 33

Greer 4-7 3-5 12, LaCerra 1-4 0-0 3, Atkins 4-9 0-0 8, Chappell 0-0 0-0 0, Dillon 0-3 0-0 0, Palmer 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan 1-4 0-0 2, Hancock 4-7 0-0 8, Mefford 0-0 0-0 0, Cicero 0-0 0-0 0, Purifoy 0-0 0-0 0, Turner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals:14-34 (41%) 3-5 (60%) 33.

LADY CATS 49

Boxley 3-5 2-2 10, Jolivette 3-5 1-3 7, Boone 0-1 0-0 0, Clardy 5-14 7-8 18, King 3-5 1-4 9, Sammons 1-2 1-3 3, Venzant 0-3 0-0 0, Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Crow 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 0-1 0-0 0. Totals:16-38 (42%) 12-20 (60%) 49.

Three-point field goals:Bryant 2-11 (LaCerra 1-4, Greer 1-1, Dillon 0-2, Hancock 0-2, Atkins 0-1, Jordan 0-1), Conway White 5-11 (Boxley 2-3, King 2-3, Clardy 1-3, Jolivette 0-1, Venzant 0-1). Turnovers:Bryant 20, Conway White 10. Rebounds:Bryant 7-18 25 (Atkins 1-5 6, Greer 1-3 4, Chappell 0-3 3, LaCerra 1-1 2, Dillon 1-1 2, Jordan 1-1 2, Hancock 1-1 2, Palmer 1-0 1, Purifoy 0-1 1, Turner 0-1 1, team 0-1 1), Conway White 8-14 22 (King 3-4 7, Clardy 1-4 5, Boxley 1-1 2, Jolivette 0-2 2, Boone 1-1 2, Sammons 0-2 2, Williams 1-0 1, team 1-0 1). Team fouls:Bryant 14, Conway White 4.



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