Early struggles, turnovers cost White eighth-grade girls in opener

Anytime your team is matched up with one from North Little Rock, taking care of the basketball is imperative. And a challenge.

It’s a difficult team to play in your first contest of the season too, but that’s where the Bryant White Lady Hornets eighth grade team of Bryant Junior High found themselves as they opened the season Thursday night at the BJH gym.

Taking advantage of 29 turnovers, North Little Rock Gold managed a 27-20 victory over the White Lady Hornets.

“We turned the ball over all game,” said Bryant White coach Ben Perry. “I believe we got down early and got our heads down. We played intimidated and let them take the fight to us instead of the other way around.”

Gold pushed out to an 8-2 lead by the end of the first quarter. It was 16-6 at the half. The Lady Hornets settled down some in the second half and whittled into the margin. It was 20-12 going into the final period.

White managed to cut the lead to 4 at one point. “But wecould not eliminate our mistakes throughout the stretch,” Perry said.

Brilynn Findley led the Lady Hornets with 10 points. Kristen Reese scored 3 while Emeril Jones, Maddie Williams and Arion Pegram added 2 each. Lanlea Page hit a free throw.

“We missed open shots and took bad shots,” Perry said. “We didn’t drive the paint or utilize our post players. Our half-court defense was not bad, but we turned the ball over 29 times which we just can’t do. 

“One of our guards went down early in the second quarter and had to be taken to Ortho so we had to have the bench step up,” he related. “We went to the foul line 17 times but only made 8. While they only went to the stripe 10 times converting 4 of their free throws.  

“We just were not very aggressive on defense,” the coach mentioned. 

“North Little Rock had played three games before us and we did not show up well for our first outing,” he summarized. “However, there is much to learn and move forward with from this game. We did not play like we can, but we will adjust and come out after Thanksgiving against Sylvan Hills a little more hungry to play. The girls will recover, and they will learn to fight a whole game.”

The Lady Hornets will host Sylvan Hills on Dec. 3.  

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