Early surge leads freshman girls to first conference victory

For more photos from this event by Kevin Nagle, go here

Ashton Inman unleashes a shot. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

The Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team ran out to a 16-1 lead in the first half on the way to a 36-24 victory over the Cabot North Lady Panthers on Monday night at the Bryant Middle School gym.

The win was the first of the season for the Lady Hornets, now 1-3. It came at the right time as the game marked the opening of play in the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference.

The team was led by the two sets of twins on the team. Ashton Inman set the pace with 9 points and nine rebounds. Abbey Inman and Kirstyn Weng added 7 points each with Kaitlyn Weng scoring 6.

“Our defense has been keeping us in ballgames,” noted Lady Hornets coach Nathan Castaldi. “Tonight, we had a little bit more offense to go with it.

“I think they’re getting a little bit more comfortable, figuring out what I want in our offense,” he explained. “You know sometimes they’re working so hard to run what we want to do, they’re giving up open shots. They sometimes they take a bad shot because that’s what the offense says. They’re figuring it out.”

Abbey Inman fights to get a shot away inside. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Ashton Inman’s game-opening 3 found the bottom of the net to get them off to a good start. After a Cabot North free throw, Bryant scored the next 13 points. Abbey Inman scored off an offensive rebound then Kristyn Weng made a steal and a layup to make it 7-1.

Kaitlyn Weng hit a free throw then Abbey Inman scored again off a drive to the hoop. With :15 left, Jaiyah Jackson knocked down a baseline jumper and it was 12-1 going into the second stanza.

A layup by Kaitlyn Weng and a stickback from Lauryn Taylor made it 16-1. Later, Taylor added a free throw and so did Ryleigh Laughlin to make it 18-3.

When Kristyn Weng drained a 3 and Kristyn Weng scored off a steal, it was 23-3 going into the final seconds of the half. A basket by Cabot North’s Dashia Staten at the buzzer trimmed two points off that margin.

Kristyn Weng tosses up a running jumper over a Cabot North defender. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

To start the third quarter, Kaitlyn Weng’s steal and layup extended the margin back to 20, 25-5 but that’s when the Lady Panthers came to life, putting together a 9-2 run that was only interrupted by a pair of free throws by Ashton Inman.

Abbey Inman added a free throw just before the end the period, making it 28-14. Eventually, Cabot North cut the lead to as little as 9, 29-20, but Ashton Inman hit a clutch basket and, after a timeout, Abbey Inman canned a pair of free throws.

Free tosses by Jackson and Ashton Inman in the final 30 seconds kept the Lady Panthers at bay.

“We talked at halftime about not coming out, saying we have a big lead, to just keep playing,” Castaldi said. “I thought we got a little bit comfortable. Instead of continuing to put the pressure on them, we allowed them to put pressure on us.

“But we held on,” he added. “It was a good win.”

Jaiyah Jackson (21) fights Cabot North’s Dashia Staten for a rebound. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Bryant plays again next Monday when they host Lake Hamilton.

LADY HORNETS 36, LADY PANTHERS 24

Freshman

Score by quarters

Cabot North    1          4          9          10 — 24

BRYANT          12        11        5          8 — 36

LADY PANTHERS 24

Jennings 2-9 1-2 6, Dowda 0-6 3-8 3, Tausen 1-6 0-1 2, Carroies 2-6 1-4 5, Murphy 1-3 0-0 2, Staten 2-5 0-1 4, Aldana 0-1 2-2 2, Dyson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 8-36 7-18 24.

LADY HORNETS 36

Ka.Went 2-4 2-5 6, Kr.Weng 3-9 0-1 7, Ab.Inman 2-7 3-6 7, As.Inman 2-8 4-4 9, Laughlin 0-2 1-2 1, Jackson 1-3 1-2 3, Brown 0-1 0-2 2, Taylor 1-2 1-2 3, Buck 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-36 12-24 36.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 2-8 (Kr.Weng 1-5, As.Inman 1-2, Ka.Weng 0-1), Cabot North 1-5 (Jennings 1-3, Dowda 0-1, Tausen 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 22, Cabot North 20. Rebounds: Bryant 16-21 37 (As.Inman 2-7 9, Ab.Inman 2-4 6, Jackson 3-2 5, Laughlin 1-3 4, Kr.Weng 1-2 3, Ka.Went 1-2 3, Taylor 3-0 3, Brown 1-0 1, team 2-1 3), Cabot North 12-19 31 (Carroies 3-5 8, Tausen 4-3 7, Dowda 2-4 6, Murphy 0-3 3, Staten 2-1 3, Jennings 1-1 2, team, 0-2 2). Team fouls: Bryant 19, Cabot North 20. Fouled out: Cabot North, Jennings, Staten.

Megan Brown eyes the basket. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)



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