CABOT — The Bryant Blue Lady Hornets eighth grade team of Bethel Middle School fell victim to weariness and foul trouble in the late stages of each half of their game against the Cabot South Lady Panthers eighth grade team on Thursday night and the result was a tough 33-26 loss.
It was just the second setback in nine games this season for the Lady Hornets.[more]
Bryant Blue built a 16-10 lead in the first half but Cabot South finished the quarter with an 8-0 run that made it a battle the rest of the way.
“We turned the ball over several times,” noted Lady Hornets coach Rhonda Hall. “We got a bit tired and weren’t as aggressive as we needed to be. We let Cabot come in and make some steals they shouldn’t have.”
In the third quarter, the Lady Hornets had pulled even at 22 late before a free throw in the final seconds gave Cabot South a 1-point edge going into the final quarter. But along the way, Bryant Blue’s top scorers Dezarea Duckworth and Rori Whittaker got into foul trouble. Duckworth sat for a considerable chunk of the second half and, when she returned, she picked up her fifth with about three minutes to go.
By then, Cabot South had surged to a 27-22 lead. It was 28-22 when Andrea Buford banked in a jumper for Bryant but, moments later, Whittaker fouled out.
The lead grew to 31-24 before Ashlee Caton hit a jumper from the wing for Bryant with :53 left.
The Lady Hornets scrambled defensively and got a couple of chances to get closer but a late layup by the Lady Panthers sealed their fate.
Whittaker and Duckworth each finished with 10 points for Bryant. Duckworth also had six rebounds. Along with Buford and Caton, Erica Smith contributed 2 points for the Lady Hornets.
“We came back and fought hard until the game ended but the foul trouble hurt us,” acknowledged Hall. “Our team played extremely hard in the second half.”
The Lady Hornets will return to action at home on Tuesday, Jan. 12, against Lake Hamilton.