Freshman girls advance past Mena at Lake Hamilton

PEARCY — The Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team outscored the Mena Lady Bobcats 12-4 in the third quarter to turn a two-point halftime lead into a 10-point advantage, then held on for a 40-37 victory in the first game of the annual Kameron Hale Invitational Tournament at Lake Hamilton High School.
The Lady Hornets will play Hot Springs on Friday at 4 p.m., in a winner’s bracket semifinal. Hot Springs defeated Benton by 4 on Thursday.
Parris Atkins scored 14 points to lead the Lady Hornets. Caitlin LaCerra, Jordan Hancock and Daria Greer each had 6 points. Emma Chappell and ShaMya Jordan added 3 each and Reagan Dillon scored 2.
“Mena was a really good team,” said Lady Hornets coach Nathan Castaldi. “They shot the ball really well and had some size inside, which gave us some problems.
“They hit four 3’s in the first half and only one in the second,” he noted. “Our girls did a much better job of closing on their shooters and making them put the ball on the floor.”
Mena held a 10-9 edge at the end of the first quarter but Bryant surged to lead 22-20 at the half. It was 34-24 going into the fourth quarter in favor of the Lady Hornets.
“I was really proud of all our post players,” Castaldi mentioned. “They did a great job of defending their good post player and we made her work for all her points.
“On the offensive side of the ball, we were able to get just about any shot we wanted,” he noted. “Our girls did a really good job of executing on that end, which led to a balanced scoring attack for us.”
Regarding the late rally by Mena, Castaldi said, “We did not close the game out when we could have and let Mean inch back in it late. I need to do a better job of preparing us to play with a lead and not get in too big of a hurry.”

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