Freshman girls never trail on the way to win over Cabot South

A’Niyah Livingston hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first two minutes of the game as the Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team gained the upper hand early on and never trailed on the way to a 33-20 win over the Cabot South Lady Panthers on Monday night.

It was the first Central Arkansas Junior High Conference victory for the Lady Hornets. They’re now 1-1 in league play going into a challenge on Thursday at home against a Lake Hamilton team that beat them 34-8 on Nov. 16.

The Lady Hornets held Cabot South to just 4 points in the first quarter and only 2 in the third. They outrebounded the Lady Panthers 30-16.

Keyonna Hunt led a balanced offense with 9 points. Jadyn Miller had 7 to go with Livingston’s 6. Eight of the 11 players that got into the game for Bryant added to the scoring.

“I thought we executed better tonight,” said Lady Hornets head coach Nathan Castaldi. “We didn’t see the pressure that we’ve seen against some of those teams that we start seeing on Thursday with Lake Hamilton again. But we were able to run our stuff. We forced some shots, but they were good shots. They were open. But, other than that, we got the ball where we wanted to for the most part. I was happy about that.”

The next four conference games for the Lady Hornets will be against teams that pressed them during the first half of the season and suppressed their scoring, allowing no more than 15 points. But Bryant appears to have worked hard during the Christmas break and improved.

“They’re putting effort in,” Castaldi said. “They weren’t happy with the results before Christmas and they’ve dedicated themselves to paying attention to those smaller details that, I think, add up to the bigger things. 

“And I think they’re kind of eager to see, as we get back into that stretch in conference now against teams we’ve already played. You know, they’ve been practicing too. So, I’m eager to see how much improvement we’ve achieved.”

Miller led the Lady Hornets work on the boards with nine. Hunt had six. Of the 16 rebounds for Cabot South, only four came on the offensive end.

“A lot of nights, we’re undersized but tonight we matched up a little better,” noted Castaldi. “But we’ve been working on it. I think our girls have made a little bit more of a concentrated effort to focus on that. That’s helped.”

After Livingston’s second triple, Hunt drove for a basket to give Bryant an 8-2 lead. After Cabot South scored, Hunt capped off the strong start with a three-point play that made it 11-4 going into the second period.

Miller followed her own miss to start the new quarter, increasing the margin to nine.

Cabot South rallied to within 15-12 with only a baseline jumper by Savannah Spradlin interrupting for Bryant.

Over the final 2:31 of the quarter, the Lady Panthers were unable to score. A basket by Rihanna Ware and a free throw from Locklan Berry made it 18-12 at the half.

The Lady Panthers managed just two free throws in the third. Bryant was limited to baskets by Hunt and Arion Pegram, but the lead increased to 22-14 going into the final six minutes.

Pegram drove for a layup to start the fourth quarter, producing the first double-digit lead for the Lady Hornets.

Down the stretch, Miller had a basket and a free throw, Ware scored again and, in the final 1:30, Hunt scored inside off a feed from Saffy Purdom, who followed up with a steal and layup to set the final score.



Score by quarters

Cabot South    4          8          2          6 — 20

BRYANT           11        7          4          11 — 33


Gorecke 1-1 0-0 2, Armstrong 2-7 1-5 5, Haile 0-1 0-2 0, Weatherly 1-2 0-0 3, Creswell 1-7 2-4 4, Mayfield 2-4 0-0 6. Totals 7-22 (32%) 3-11 (27%) 20.


Purdom 1-4 0-0 2, Livingston 2-10 0-0 6, Pegram 1-2 0-0 2, Miller 3-7 1-3 7, Hunt 4-6 1-1 9, Spradlin 1-3 0-0 2, Ware 2-4 0-0 4, Calhoun 0-1 0-0 0, Berry 0-0 1-2 1, Page 0-0 0-0 0, Diggins 0-0 0-0 0, Edwards 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-37 (38%) 3-6 (50%) 33.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 2-8 (Livingston 2-5, Perdom 0-1, Spradlin 0-1, Ware 0-1), Cabot South 3-13 (Mayfield 2-4, Weatherly 1-2, Creswell 0-4, Armstrong 0-2, Haile 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 16, Cabot South 18. Rebounds: Bryant 30 (Miller 3-6 9, Hunt 1-5 6, Purdom 2-1 3, Livingston 2-0 2, Page 1-1 2, Pegram 0-1 1 Ware 0-1 1, Calhoun 1-0 1, Diggins 0-1 1, team 2-2 4), Cabot South 4-12 16 (Creswell 1-7 8, Armstrong 1-3 4, Haile 1-0 1, Weatherly 0-1 1, team 1-1 2). Team fouls: Bryant 11, Cabot South 8.

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