By Rob Patrick
Photos by Kevin Nagle
The Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team got a little welcome relief from the nail-biters they’ve been playing most of this season, particularly of late, when they[more] rolled to a 24-4 lead against the Cabot South Lady Panthers Thursday night, on the way to a 42-11 victory.
Bryant improved to 11-9 overall this season and 2-2 in league action going into a trip to North Little Rock on Monday.
The Lady Hornets include Aubree Allen, Jessica Alliston, Andrea Buford, Ashlee Caton, Caylin Choate, Dezarea Duckworth, Kaitlyn Greer, Keedy Harrison, Taylor Matthews, Dee-Dee Mosby, Melinda Murdock, Amber Newman, Destiny Nichols, Brittany Privett, Erica Smith, Rori Whittaker and Alex Wright.
Seven of the 15 girls that got into the game for the Lady Hornets contributed to the scoring led by Allen’s 13 points. She also led the team with five rebounds. Duckworth added 8 points, Smith 6, Whittaker 5 with Choate and Greer finishing with 4 each. Nichols contributed a bucket as well.
“We’ve had a lot of those this year where were coming back in the second half,” acknowledged Lady Hornets coach Nathan Castaldi. “So it was good to have one where we had a nice comfortable lead all game.
“What I was pleased with is, defensively, holding them to only 11 points,” he mentioned. “We did a good job defensively and we had balanced scoring. That means we were playing well together as a team.”
Allen had a three-point play and a post-up bucket that had Bryant up 5-2. Duckworth scored off a steal by Allen then Cabot South’s Lakyn Crumbley knocked down a 15-foot jumper to make it 7-4.
The Lady Panthers didn’t’ have another field goal the rest of the half. In the second quarter, they managed a free throw by Ryann Wilson.
Initially, Bryant reeled off a 17-0 run. Whittaker started it with a 15-foot jumper and, after a held ball, Smith posted up and hit a turnaround jay to make it 11-4. Duckworth scored off a steal then Allen hit a jumper in the lane to produce the first double-digit margin.
Whittaker made a steal that led to a basket by Choate, then another that she eventually cashed in with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to make it 20-4 going into the second period.
And when Allen scored inside to start the second quarter, the lead was 18. After a pair of missed free throws at Cabot’s end, Choate knocked down a 12-footer to complete the blitz.
Wilson’s free throw came with 1:19 left in the half and the Lady Panthers had a chance to get more only to have Duckworth make a steal and feed Nichols for a basket that made it 26-5 at the intermission.
Crumbley ended Cabot’s field-goal drought with the opening basket of the second half but it was, again, a long while before the Lady Panthers could find the range again.
A basket by Smith and two by Duckworth extended the margin to 32-7 before Amanda Brucks interrupted with a pair of free throws for Cabot South.
Allen answered off a nice assist from Whittaker then she returned the favor to set up Smith. A steal by Allen led to her offensive-rebound basket to make it 38-9 going into the fourth quarter.
Greer scored all four of her points in the fourth quarter including an impressive drive down the lane for a layup.
Cabot South finally reached double digits with 2:44 left in the game on a basket by Katy Wise.
LADY HORNETS 42, LADY PANTHERS 11
Score by quarters
Cabot South 4 1 4 2 — 11
BRYANT 20 6 12 4 — 42
LADY PANTHERS 11
Wood 0-1 0-0 0, Gonzales 0-1 0-2 0, Crumbley 2-7 0-0 4, Brucks 0-1 2-2 2, Wise 2-6 0-0 4, Powell 0-2 0-0 0, Kelley 0-0 0-0 0, Wilson 0-1 1-2 1, Backus 0-2 0-0 0, Bettger 0-0 0-0 0, Ramey 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 4-22 3-6 11.
LADY HORNETS 42
Nichols 1-2 0-0 2, Duckworth 4-9 0-0 8, Smith 3-4 0-0 6, Whittaker 2-4 0-0 5, Allen 6-8 1-1 13, Choate 2-4 0-0 4, Newman 0-0 0-0 0, Harrison 0-1 0-0 0, Greer 2-6 0-2 4, Buford 0-2 0-0 0, Caton 0-0 0-0 0, Murdock 0-0 0-2 0, Mosby 0-1 0-0 0, Wright 0-0 0-0 0, Alliston 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-41 1-5 42.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 1-1 (Whittaker 1-1), Cabot South 0-4 (Crumbley 0-4). Rebounds: Bryant 24 (Allen 5, Duckworth, Harrison 3), Cabot South 16 (Wise 4). Turnovers: Bryant 11, Cabot South 22. Team fouls: Bryant 11, Cabot South 7.