Defense sparks Lady Hornets versus Chapel
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 — The Bryant Lady Hornets bounced back from their first loss of the season with a grand defensive performance that squelched any thoughts the Watson Chapel Lady Wildcats may have held about pulling an upset. Amanda Grappe came within one rebound of a triple double, scoring 20 points, making 11 steals and collecting 9 rebounds to go with three assists while leading the Lady Hornets to a 51-37 victory in the third-place game of the Lady Cat Classic at Conway High School on Thursday, Dec. 30.
Those 11 steals were part of 30 turnovers the Lady Hornets forced. Ashley Grappe, the Bryant point guard, was in on eight steals as well, to go with 5 points and 5 assists.
The win improved the Lady Hornets’ record to 12-1 on the season as they commence AAAAA-Central Conference play on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at home against Little Rock Central.
Coming off a 52-46 loss to Pulaski Academy, the Lady Hornets established superiority early against Chapel, scoring the game’s first 6 points.
The Lady Wildcats didn’t score until the game was five minutes old. And they were able to get as close as 8-7 before Allison Grappe’s baseline jumper made it 10-7 going into the second quarter.
A layup by Bridgette McPeak and two free throws by Amanda Grappe made it 14-7. Chapel hung in and trailed 20-12 going into the final four minutes of the half but Bryant went on an 11-2 run to end the half to take control of the game.
The run started with a jumper in the lane by Amanda Grappe off a nice feed from her sister Ashley. After Amanda blocked a shot at the other end, McPeak drove for a layup. Later, Ashley made a steal that resulted in another hoop for McPeak and a 26-12 advantage.
After Chapel scored, Amanda Grappe hit a short jumper. Ashley and Allison combined on a steal and, with :02 left, Ashley canned a 3-pointer to make it 31-14.
The two teams traded baskets for much of the third quarter which ended with Bryant up 40-24. A steal by Amie Hubbard led to a basket by Amanda Grappe and a 42-24 lead. After a three-point play by Chapel, Hubbard hit a short jumper and Robin Speake hit a pair of free throws give Bryant its largest lead at 46-27 with 3:39 left.
Everyone got to play for both teams after that with Amber Gibbs, Jessie Sutton and Sydney Simpson adding to the Lady Hornets’ total.