Photos by Kevin Nagle
Mary Catherine Selig and Meagan Chism combined for 30 points to lead the Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team to a 33-17 win over the Cabot White Lady Panthers of North junior high on Monday night.
It was a bounce-back win for Bryant, which had suffered back-to-back tough losses in the Bryant Invitational after opening the season with 29-20 win over Watson Chapel.
“Last week in our tournament, we didn’t play as well as we wanted to,” acknowledged Lady Hornets coach Nathan Castaldi. “But the good thing about that was we had three good days of practice at the end of the week and I thought that carried over tonight.”
The coach pointed to improvement in his team’s defense. Not only did the Lady Hornets limit the Lady Panthers to 17 points, they forced 16 turnovers and just five field goals in 23 attempts (22 percent).
“We played much better as a team,” Castaldi said. “I think we’ve been getting good individual effort but sometimes that breaks down and our teammates weren’t behind us. I saw much more of that tonight. We always had good help-side.
“We rebounded as a team a little bit better,” he noted. “We’re not big so we have to all go to the boards. I think we did a better job of that.”
Bryant finished with 23 rebounds to Cabot North’s 22. Kalia Walker and Allie Dugan each had four boards to lead the Lady Hornets.
“Offensively, we made shots,” the coach concluded. “I thought we got good shots last week. They just didn’t go in. We shot 2 of 22 against Hot Springs and I don’t think we forced any shots. Tonight, we made a couple at the start and I think that got us going. Our team fed on that.”
The first shot turned into a three-point play for Selig who was on her way to a 20-point night. Chism scored to make it 5-2 and, after a second Lady Panther basket, Bryant went on a 13-1 run.
As part of that Selig finished the first quarter as she started it, with a three-point play on a drive to the hoop. That made it 11-4.
She connected on a 15-foot jumper to start the second period and followed up with a 12-footer to make it 15-4. A free throw for Cabot was answered by a basket for Walker. Dugan made a steal that resulted in a trip to the line for Walker, who converted to make it 18-5.
The Lady Panthers scored in the final :15 to make it 18-7 at the half.
But the Lady Hornets started the third quarter back on fire. Selig scored on an inbounds play than Chism scored the next 6 points as the lead ballooned to 26-7.
Over the final 1:37 of the quarter, the Lady Panthers hit a trio of free throws in eight attempts and it was 26-10 going into the fourth quarter.
Two more free throws cut the lead further to start the final stanza. With 4:26 left in the game, Cabot managed its first field goal of the second half.
Just when it looked like the Lady Panthers were going to make a real run at the Lady Hornets, Selig turned in yet another three-point play on a move to the rack.
At the other end, Chism pulled down a rebound and drove to length of the floor for a layup and a 31-14 lead.
Now 2-2, the Lady Hornets are set to return to action on Monday, Nov. 30, at home against Lake Hamilton.