CONWAY — Though they were unable to overtake the Conway Blue Lady Cats, despite a fourth-quarter rally, the Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team continued to show that work during the holiday break is starting to pay off.
On the heels of a 31-28 overtime victory at Benton, the Lady Hornets outscored the Lady Cats 5-3 in the first quarter and 4-0 in the fourth quarter.
Conway Blue did enough in between to come away with a 28-20 win as the two teams opened play in the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference.
Before the break, the Lady Hornets were struggling with pressure defenses and scoring fewer than 10 points a game four times.
“Our girls continue to improve as the season goes on,” acknowledged Lady Hornets coach Nathan Castaldi. “I said after the Benton game if we take care of the basketball, we usually give ourselves a shot and we did a pretty good of that last night. Conway tried to press us, but we were able to execute our press offense and force them to fall back into a half-court defense.
“We allowed Conway to get out in transition a few times in the second and third quarters which led to some easy buckets for them,” he noted, referring to the Lady Cats’ 17-12 halftime lead and a 28-16 advantage through three quarters. “While they were making their run, we struggled to finish on the offensive end, which helped them pull ahead in the middle quarters.”
A’Niyah Livingston scored 10 points for Bryant. Cammille Calhoun added 4 with Saffy Purdom, Jadyn Miller and Arion Pegram contributing 2 each.
“Our girls continued to play hard until the end and made a game of it in the fourth quarter,” said Castaldi. “I thought Saffy Purdom played extremely well for us. She had several steals which led to some easy buckets and rebounded the ball well for us all game.”
The Lady Hornets return to league action on Monday when they host Cabot South.