December 29 in Bryant athletic history: 1998

Lady Hornets whip White Hall

EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).

The Bryant Lady Hornets were set to take on the second-ranked Fort Smith Southside Lady Rebels Tuesday night in the winner’s bracket semifinals of the Bryant Holiday Classic tournament after the Lady Hornets dismissed the White Hall Lady Bulldogs 60-36 Tuesday morning.

Bryant, who improved to 10-2 with the win, received a first-round bye at the tournament. White Hall had advanced with a 62-52 win over Happy Valley East of Elizabethton, Tenn.

The Lady Hornets gained the advantage over White Hall with a 13-2 run in the first quarter, then put the game away by outscoring the Lady Bulldogs 24-4 during a stretch at the end of the first half and through the third quarter.

White Hall managed just 2 points in the third period as Bryant’s halftime lead of 32-21 ballooned to 45-23 going into the fourth quarter.

Bekka Middleton scored 19 points to lead all scorers. Ashley Wallis added 17 for Bryant. White Hall was led by Leslie Elizondo with 14.

The game was tied at 4 when the Lady Hornets began their initial burst. Middlton scored inside then Wallis and Joanie Robideaux combined on a steal that produced a three-point play for Middleton inside.

After Elizondo missed a jumper for White Hall, Wallis nailed a baseline jay to make it 11-4. Moments later, Middleton drove for a layup to complete a 9-0 streak.

An offensive-rebound basket by Tabitha Ryals interrupted but Wallis hit a jump hook from the baseline then Kim Jacuzzi made a steal and passed ahead to Robideaux for a layup to make it 17-6.

The Bryant lead was 19-10 going into the second quarter which started with a 3-pointer by Elizondo. The Lady Bulldogs whittled the lead to 21-15 before Wallis hit a driving layup, made a steal and got another easy 2 to make it a 10-point game.

Unanswered baskets by Nicole Daigle managed to get White Hall back to within 6 but then Bryant began the decisive run, starting with a 3 by Robideaux.

Shannon Amos hit a short jumper for the Lady Hornets then Middleton hit a turnaround off a nice feed from Heather Atkins to make it 32-19.

An offensive-rebound bucket by Jessica Thompson enabled the Lady Bulldogs to stay within 11 at the half.

The two teams traded baskets to start the third quarter, but Elizondo’s basket inside with 6:38 left in the quarter was the last White Hall would score until the 5:53 mark of the fourth period. In the meantime, Bryant built a 49-23 lead.

Middleton started the onslaught with a steal and basket then Wallis nailed a 3. Atkins came up with a steal and Candice Croy got a basket off the offensive glass.

After a timeout by White Hall coach Jeannie Qualls, formerly the head coach at Bryant Junior High, the streak continued with Wallis scoring on a stickback, making a steal and driving for a basket to end the third quarter.

Amos scored inside off a nice feed from Lindsey Menard to start the fourth quarter. A White Hall turnover resulted in a trip to the free-throw line for Tiffany Kennedy who converted twice to compete the 24-4 run.

Menard lit it up in the final five minutes, scoring 9 points on a pair of 3’s and a conventional three-point play. Jodi Hantz completed the scoring in the closing moments with a jumper after grabbing an offensive rebound.

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