Lady Hornets pass along lessons learned to Forrest City
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, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
By ROB PATRICK
CONWAY — Two days after receiving a lesson in hustle and aggressiveness by the Norman Lady Tigers, one of Oklahoma’s best high school girls basketball teams, the Lady Hornets of Bryant handed out a lesson of their own to the Forrest City Lady Mustangs.
In the consolation bracket of the Lady Cats Classic at Conway High School, the Lady Hornets repeatedly beat the Lady Mustangs’ defense down the floor in a 61-38 win that could’ve been worse had Bryant not missed a number of layups along the way. Defensively, the Lady Hornets forced 20 turnovers in the first three quarters and held Forrest City to 25 percent shooting from the floor.
The win improved the Lady Hornets to 7-6 this season going into Tuesday’s tourney finale against the Van Buren Pointerettes.
Junior guard Amie Hubbard stepped up offensively for the Lady Hornets, leading the team with 15 points. Amanda Grappe added 11 as 12 of the 16 Lady Hornets that played adding to the scoring.
The lone Forrest City lead was 2-0. Bryant scored the next 8 points and was never headed. Hubbard canned an 18-footer to tie the game then sophomore Bridgette McPeak scored from close range to put Bryant ahead.
Ashley Grappe fed her sister Amanda for a layup to make it 6-2 then Amanda Grappe followed her own miss and scored despite being fouled.
The Lady Hornets led 12-5 at the end of the first quarter despite foul trouble for all-State point guard Ashley Grappe, who scored 14 points in the game against Norman.
Forrest City trimmed the lead to 14-9 early in the second quarter then Bryant took off again. Melissa Spring’s offensive-rebound basket started a 10-0 blitz that also included baskets by Allison Grappe, Hubbard and Yousra Elhagemoussa.
A couple of late baskets by the Lady Mustangs allowed them to cut the margin to 12, 26-14 at the half.
The lead reached 20 late in the third quarter. Forrest City’s Shari Rogers had hit a 3 to keep her team within 37-24 and the Lady Mustangs had a chance to get closer. But Amanda Grappe made a steal and Hubbard cashed in with a 3. After another Forrest City turnover, Hubbard knocked down a 15-footer. Moments later, Dani Sutton’s baseline jumper made it 44-24.
It stayed that way until the final minute when Megan Kennedy made a nice pass to Liz Farish as she cut to the hoop. Her short jumper made it 46-24.
Ashley Grappe, Allison Grappe and Kayla Pitts all hit 3-pointers for Bryant in the fourth quarter. The Lady Hornets’ largest lead was 26 midway through the period.
A late flurry allowed Forrest City to cut the margin to 20 but Keisha Stickley hit a free throw after grabbing an offensive rebound, then Tania Darby made a steal and fed Stickley for a buzzer-beating jumper from the left baseline to set the final score.