Photos by Kevin Nagle
After three consecutive losses, the Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team turned to defense and rebounding on Thursday night to spark a 19-14 win over the Mount St. Mary Academy Mounties at Bryant Middle School gym.
Mary Catherine Selig finished with 10 points and 10 rebound while point guard Kalia Walker added 7 points and played a key role in handling the Mounties’ press. The Lady Hornets out-rebounded Mount 31-16 and held them Mounties to 14 percent shooting from the field (4 of 28).
Bryant improved to 3-5 on the season going into a trip to Russellville on Monday, Dec. 14, to close out their pre-Christmas schedule.
“I thought, defensively, we played great,” stated Lady Hornets coach Nathan Castaldi. “When you only give up 14 points — I thought that was a really good effort on the defensive end. There’s still room to improve. You know, they missed some open shots but I was really proud of our defense.
“Also, we protected the ball a lot better,” he mentioned. “After Monday’s game (a 26-16 loss to Conway Blue) when we turned it over a lot, we really stressed that in practice, worked on it and I thought the girls showed that. Mount came out and put some pressure on us but we never really panicked and I thought that led to some open opportunities for us.
“Kalia has a lot of responsibility,” the coach said of his point guard. “We ask her to do a lot for us, handling the ball. I thought she did a much better job handling it under pressure and not getting in a hurry.”
Both defenses, obviously, were pretty stingy. In fact, the first quarter ended 2-2 with Walker providing Bryant’s basket and Mount being held to just two free throws by Anya Ranaraja.
The Mounties took the lead on a pair of free throws by Hannah Storey to open the second quarter but when Walker made a steal and a layup, it was tied again. After another turnover, Allie Dugan grabbed an offensive rebound for Bryant and dished to Selig for a bucket to put the Lady Hornets back in the lead.
Mount was never able to regain the lead, though after Selig scored off the offensive glass to make it 8-4, baskets by Storey and Ranaraja evened the game by halftime.
Walker snapped that tie with a 12-footer to open the scoring in the second half. After a Mounties turnover, Selig grabbed an offensive rebound and attacked the basket for a basket to make it 12-8.
Mount’s Mabry Meadors managed her team’s only basket of the period with 2:11 left but Bryant’s Allison Steen made a steal then followed a teammates miss for a bucket to count that. It was 14-10 going into the fourth quarter.
Twice the Mounties cut the lead to 2. The second time, they had a chance to tie it but missed a pair of shots before Rachel Studdard rebounded for Bryant.
After a timeout, the Lady Hornets spread the floor and made Mount chase. To that point, the Mounties had committed just two team fouls in the half and needed to get Bryant in the bonus to prevent the Lady Hornets from running out the clock, especially after Selig found an opening on the baseline and scored to make it 18-14.
At the other end, Walker blocked a shot by Mount’s Ashley Suffridge. In turn, the Lady Hornets missed a couple of shots. The Mounties rebounded but, after a timeout, Walker made another steal. She would close out the scoring with by hitting the front end of a one-and-one when Mount finally got into the bonus with :09.5 left.
And when Walker hustled after the rebound off the missed second shot, she was able to dribble out the clock.
LADY HORNETS 19, MOUNTIES 14
Score by quarters
Mount St. Mary 2 6 2 4 — 14
BRYANT 2 6 6 5 — 19
Suffridge 1-9 0-0 2, Ranaraja 1-7 2-2 4, Meadors 1-3 0-0 2, Allgood 0-2 0-0 0, Snook 0-4 0-0 0, Kagy 0-0 0-0 0, Storey 1-2 4-4 6, Holloway 0-1 0-0 0, Bray 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 4-28 6-6 14.
LADY HORNETS 19
Walker 3-7 1-4 7, Studdard 0-5 0-0 0, Chism 0-1 0-0 0, Selig 5-10 0-0 10, Burnett 0-1 0-0 0, Dugan 0-2 0-0 0, Steen 1-1 0-0 2, Lee 0-1 0-0 0, Hernandez 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 9-29 1-4 19.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 0-1 (Walker 0-1), Mount St. Mary 0-3 (Suffridge 0-1, Meadors 0-1, Snook 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 18, Mount St. Mary 10. Rebounds: Bryant 10-21 31 (Selig 3-7 10, Studdard 0-4 4, Burnett 1-3 4, Dugan 2-1 3, Steen 1-2 3, Walker 1-1 2, Chism 1-0 1, Hernandez 1-0 1, team 0-3 3), Mount St. Mary 4-12 16 (Allgood 1-4 5, Storey 1-2 3, Suffridge 1-1 2, Ranaraja 1-0 1, Meadors 0-1 1, Snook 0-1 1, Kagy 0-1 1, Bray 0-1 1, team 0-1 1). Team fouls: Bryant 8, Mount St. Mary 9.