Fresh Lady Hornets leave Conway White in their wake

For more photos of this event by Rick Nation, go here

The rest appeared to be beneficial to the Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team. Maybe it will again.

The Lady Hornets had been off a week since a disappointing 31-28 loss to North Little Rock in a first-place showdown. They came back on Thursday to run past the Conway White Lady Cats, 40-10 as they improved to 16-3.

Now, they’ll take another week off before playing at Benton in the regular-season finale ahead of the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference post-season tournament, starting on Monday, Feb. 17.

“This is the time of year when you want to be playing your best basketball,” said Lady Hornets head coach Nathan Castaldi. “We don’t play until next Thursday so that gives us a couple of days to kind of refocus on Benton and get going into the last game and the conference tournament.”

Bryant defeated Benton just 29-27 in a non-conference meeting on Jan. 6. The two teams will be playing for third place in the league. Both are 5-2.

The Lady Hornets’ three losses this season have been by 2 to Vilonia, by 3 to North Little Rock and by 9 — though it was tight until a free-throw parade last — to Conway Blue.

Bryant rushed out to an 8-0 lead on Thursday. Lauren Lain, who finished with a team-high 13 points, scored 6 in that opening salvo. Haya Winfield scored off a feed from Natalie Edmonson to account for the other basket.

Two free throws by Conway White’s Amiya Taylor broke through for the Lady Cats. A late basket by Lyniyae Johnson off the offensive glass made it 10-2 going into the second quarter.

“I thought, the first half especially — I mean really throughout the entire game, we played really well, shared the basketball,” Castaldi said. “Eyes were up the whole time, finding the open person, making the extra pass.”

Bryant forced 10 turnovers in that first quarter, so it could’ve been much worse for Conway White. The Lady Hornets converted just 5 of 17 shots in that opening period.

“We stayed after it,” said the Bryant coach. “A couple of times, we’d get the offensive rebound to finish off those. We went through a little stretch there, got up 8-0 then it felt like we turned them over a bunch. We just couldn’t capitalize. I thought, right there at the end of the second quarter and, after halftime, we were able to extend that lead with a bit of a spurt there.”

Neither team had much success early in the second quarter. Conway’s Lauryn Crenshaw hit a 3 but it was still just 10-5 going into the final three minutes of the half.

A follow shot by Winfield was the Lady Hornets’ first points of the period with 2:30 left. With under a minute to go, Emileigh Muse drained a 3, Winfield hit a free throw and, off a rebound of Winfield’s missed second shot, Muse scored to make it 18-5.

To start the second half, Muse and Edmonson hit 3’s and Muse followed up with a baseline bucket that extended the lead to 26-7.

A basket by the Lady Cats’ Gracie Garrison was countered by a late layup by Jayla Knight to make the margin 19 going into the fourth quarter.

Conway White only added a free throw in the fourth quarter as the Castaldi worked in all of his reserves.

Lain started the fourth with a personal 7-0 run before checking out of the game midway through the period. Down the stretch, the lead was extended due to free throws by Emma Baker, a 16-foot jumper by Emily Miller and a free throw by Knight.

LADY HORNETS 40, LADY CATS 10

Freshman

Conway White 2          3          4          1 — 10

BRYANT           10        8          10        12 — 40

LADY CATS 10

Scott 0-0 0-0 0, Rowland 0-1 0-0 0, Crenshaw 1-12 0-2 3, Taylor 0-6 3-4 3, Chandler 1-2 0-0 2, J.Robinson 0-0 0-0 0, Sims 0-1 0-0 0, Garrison 1-1 0-0 2, Dooley 0-0 0-0 0, Thompson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 3-24 (13%) 3-6 (50%) 10.

LADY HORNETS 40

Lain 5-11 2-4 13, Edmonson 1-5 0-2 3, Muse 4-9 0-0 10, Winfield 2-6 1-2 5, Allen 0-2 0-0, Johnson1-3 0-0 2, Knight 1-3 1-4 3, Gentry 0-1 0-0 0, Winston 0-1 0-0 0, Ellison 0-1 0-0 0, Baker 0-0 2-2 2, Horton 0-0 0-0 0, Welch 0-1 0-0 0, Miller 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 15-44 (34%) 6-14 (43%) 40.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 4-15 (Muse 2-7, Edmonson 1-4, Lain 1-1, Allen 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Gentry 0-1), Conway White 1-6 (Crenshaw 1-5, Taylor 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 12, Conway White 25. Rebounds:Bryant 16-15 31 (Winfield 4-4 8, Muse 2-3 5, Johnson 3-1 4, Lain 2-1 3, Miller 2-0 2, Edmonson 0-1 1, Allen 1-0 1, Knight 0-1 1, Gentry 0-1 1, Winston 1-0 1, team 1-3 4), Conway White 6-18 24 (Rowland 0-4 4, Crenshaw 3-1 4, Taylor 1-2 3, J.Robinson 0-3 3, Chandler 1-1 2, Scott 1-1 2, Garrison 0-2 2, Thompson 0-1 1, Sims 0-1 1, team 0-2). Team fouls: Bryant 10, Conway White 12.



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