The Bryant White Lady Hornets seventh grade team of Bryant Middle School rushed out to an 8-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back as they forged a 28-17 win over the Cabot North Lady Panthers at the Bryant High School gym Tuesday night.
Jordan Hancock led the scoring for the Lady Hornets with 10 points. Regan Dillon added 5 including a 3-pointer. Jayla Keith scored 3 with Daria Greer, Caitlin LaCerra, Z Witcher, Sara Hudspeth and Emma Chappell each adding 2 points.
For head coach Ben Perry, it was the complete game he’d been looking for from his team.
“I had been having problems getting my seventh grade girls to put two halves of good basketball together,” he acknowledged. “It seems like it always took a quarter or two for the girls to get into the game. I decided to start the game off in full court man press to get the girls moving in the game and use their anxious energy for pressure. It worked. We were able to shut them out in the first quarter and after several steals we were able to create the 8-0 lead.”
By halftime, Bryant White held a 14-5 advantage.
“We are still having trouble with our open shots falling,” Perry related. “We are taking good shots but we have just gone cold.
“I was able to sub quite a bit in the second quarter,” he said. “I started the third quarter with the same I started the game with and it was apparent that the pressure from the first half had worn (Cabot North) down.”
The Lady Hornets pushed the lead to 24-8.
“I was able to clear the bench,” Perry noted.
Cabot North rallied within 28-17 by the end of the quarter but then could not score in the fourth.
“I told my group after the third quarter that even though we can win this game we still must play defense,” the coach said. “We shut them out in the fourth but unfortunately we also did not score in the quarter. It was mostly due to inexperience and bad shot selection. We just could not get our shots to go in.
“However, the girls played very tough and extremely aggressive,” he added. “I believe playing the last two opponents we faced (North Little Rock and Sylvan Hills) has taught us that we must be aggressive and physically tough if we are to win. I was very proud of the girls and hope to carry this over into our next game against Sheridan in January.”
The contest is set to be played in Sheridan on Tuesday, Jan. 3.