Lady Hornets drub LR Hall
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
By ROB PATRICK
LITTLE ROCK — Sophomore guard Allison Grappe hasn’t seen quite as much varsity action this season as her sisters Amanda and Ashley. For most of the campaign, Amanda and Ashley have been stalwarts in the starting five for the Bryant Lady Hornets.
Each of the triplets have impressive all-around basketball skills but each has her own specialty, their own role on the team. Amanda, at 5-11, is an inside presence. Ashley is a ballhandler with excellent court awareness and a knack for penetrating the opponent’s defense for a shot of her own or a pass to set up a teammate. Allison is the gunner. Her high-arching shots, often from beyond the 3-point arc, splash the net when they hit the mark.
But, lately, the Lady Hornets haven’t seen many zone defenses this season, diminishing the effectiveness of their long-range bombers including Allison and senior Haley Stobaugh.
On Tuesday, Feb. 11, however, the Little Rock Hall Lady Warriors sank back into a zone, using their quickness to not only get out and pressure the ball but to collapse on Bryant’s post players when the ball went inside. Amanda Grappe, Yousra Elhagemoussa and, at times, Jennifer Slack and others often found themselves triple teamed when they got the ball.
So, for awhile, despite the fact that the Lady Hornets came into the game leading the AAAAA-Central Conference and Hall holding up the rest of the league at the bottom of the pile, the game was close well into the second quarter.
Enter Allison Grappe.
Bryant led just 12-11 with 4:28 left in the first half when Allison buried her first 3-pointer of the game, sparking a 10-3 run to end the quarter. And though the Lady Hornets didn’t really put the game away until midway through the fourth quarter, Hall was never as close again. Bryant went on to extract a 61-40 victory to keep its share of the league lead.
The Lady Hornets improved to 8-2 versus the conference, tied atop the standings with Little Rock Parkview which knocked Mount St. Mary’s out of first with a 49-30 punch on Tuesday. At 19-4 overall, the Lady Hornets were not only set to go after win number 20 on Friday, Feb. 14, at home against North Little Rock but also to notch the 400th victory of head coach Carla Crowder’s career at Bryant.
Ten Lady Hornets joined in the scoring on Tuesday, led by Amanda Grappe’s 15. Slack finished with 11 to go with 14 rebounds. Allison Grappe finished with 8.
And she wasn’t the only contributor off the bench. Jeanne Randall, Kalin Dreher, Megan Kennedy, Amie Hubbard, Stobaugh and Elizabeth Farrish turned in quality minutes.
In fact, after Allison Grappe’s trey in the second quarter, Dreher knocked down a 12-footer and Farish made a steal that eventually led to a free throws for Slack.
After Hall’s Victoria Murdock hit a layup off a steal, Allison Grappe drove the baseline and dished to Slack for a layup and a 20-13 lead.
It was 22-14 at the half and when Allison Grappe hit a layup to start the second-half scoring, the Lady Hornets had their first double-digit lead.
Hall, with a rugged, ragged effort, rallied to within 28-22 but a splendid post-up move by Dreher got Bryant going again. Ashley Grappe made a steal and earned two free throws out of it.
Back-to-back baskets by Hall’s Tamika Turner cut it to 6 again but Ashley Grappe poured in a 3, Randall drove for what turned into a three-point play and Slack added a stickback to make it 39-26.
And when Allison Grappe nailed her second trey to start the fourth quarter, it made it a 10-0 run. The Lady Hornets gradually pulled away, eventually leading by as much as 23.