Freshman Lady Hornets ride defense to victory

Photos by Kevin Nagle

With 50 seconds left in the game, Lake Hamilton Lady Wolves’ Taylor Steed connected on a 3-pointer that tied the score at 21. The Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team came back the other way and Destiny Martin laced a pass to Alyssa Kubaiko along on the left baseline. Kubaiko, in off the bench, hit a clutch 8-foot jumper to snap the tie.

Reagan McCormick fires up a jumper. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Reagan McCormick fires up a jumper. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Lake Hamilton called a timeout with :36.5 showing and when play resumed, Steed misfired on a 3-point try and the rebound went out of bounds to Bryant. Martin again pushed the ball up the floor but was fouled with :11.8 showing. Though she missed the front end of the one-and-one, Kennedy Harris out-maneuvered the Lady Wolves for the rebound, put up a shot and scored a huge basket to make it 25-21 lead.

Moments later, Kendal Rogers made a steal and added a final free throw as the Lady Hornets turned back the Lady Wolves, 26-21.

The win improved Bryant to 4-3 on the season going into a trip to Conway on Thursday.

Points were at a premium in the game Monday night. Lake Hamilton shot just 24 percent from the field (6 of 25) while Bryant fared little better, sinking 29 percent of its shots (11 of 38) from the field and converting just 4 of 16 free throws.

The Lady Hornets got more opportunities by forcing 20 turnovers while committing just nine.

“Offensively, we got the shots we were wanting,” noted Lady Hornets coach Nathan Castaldi. “They just weren’t falling for us tonight.

“Defensively, we really played well,” he added. “We battled inside. They were bigger than us with a big girl inside (Anna Ledbetter). I thought we did a good job on her.”

Ledbetter managed 7 points with nine rebounds. Castaldi commended Lania Ratliff for her work defensively off the bench on the Lake Hamilton post player.

“She’s been playing pretty well for us,” the coach said. “She has long arms and she was kind of able to stay in front (of Ledbetter) and make her work for everything she got.”

Steed led Lake Hamilton with 9 points and Hannah Walker had 5. No one else scored for the Lady Wolves.

Kendal Rogers (23) shoots over Lake Hamilton's Emily Burkholder. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Kendal Rogers (23) shoots over Lake Hamilton’s Emily Burkholder. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Martin finished with 10 for Bryant. Kubaiko came up with 6 including 4 in the fourth quarter. Rogers added 4 points. Sarah Kennedy, Riley Hill and Harris each scored 2.

“Alyssa has been out the last couple of weeks with a knee injury but she came in and really gave us a spark off the bench,” Castaldi mentioned.

The game was tied six times. To start the game, Hill hit two free throws and Martin drove into the lane for a pull-up jumper to make it 4-0 but it was 6-6 going into the second quarter.

Ledbetter hit two free throws to put her team ahead but Martin hit a running jumper to knot it. Walker and Martin traded baskets then Ledbetter hit a free throw to give her team an 11-10 edge before Kubaiko hit a short jumper off a drive with :11.1 left in the half to give Bryant a one-point edge at the intermission.

In the third quarter, Ledbetter tied it with a free throw but then Martin and Rogers hit back to back baskets off drives.

After a timeout, however, Lake Hamilton rallied to take an 18-16 lead with Walker contributing a three-point play with 1:17 left in the period.

It stayed 18-16 through the end of the third quarter and the first two minutes of the fourth before Martin drove for a bucket to tie it. Both teams struggled to snap the deadlock but, finally, with 2:32 to go, Kubaiko hit a jumper in the lane to do the trick. Martin made her third steal of the quarter and Rogers went to the line where she made her second shot. That made it 21-18.

Neither team could find the range after that until Steed’s tying triple in the final minute. It was the only Lake Hamilton basket of the fourth quarter.




Destiny Martin (21) led all scorers with 10 points in Monday night's game. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Destiny Martin (21) led all scorers with 10 points in Monday night’s game. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Score by quarters

Lake Hamilton           6          5          7          3 — 21

Bryant                        6          6          4          10 — 26


Steed 3-5 0-0 9, Burkholder 0-7 0-0 0, Walker 2-4 1-1 5, Foshee 0-1 0-0 0, Ledbetter 1-3 5-7 7, Hartman 0-0 0-0 0, Hudson 0-1 0-0 0, Keener 0-2 0-0 0, Bland 0-1 0-0 0, Wells 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 6-25 6-8 21


Jaramillo 0-3 0-0 0, Kennedy 1-1 0-0 2, Hill 0-2 2-2 2, Martin 5-12 0-5 10, Rogers 1-9 2-5 4, Ratliff 0-3 0-0 0, McCormick 0-2 0-2 0, Harris 1-2 0-0 2, Kubaiko 3-4 0-2 6, Rayford 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-38 4-16 26.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 0-2 (Jaramillo 0-2), Lake Hamilton 3-11 (Steed 3-5, Burkholder 0-5, Walker 0-1). Rebounds: Bryant 24 (Martin, Ratliff, Harris 3), Lake Hamilton 26 (Ledbetter 9). Turnovers: Bryant 9, Lake Hamilton 20. Total fouls: Bryant 7, Lake Hamilton 12.

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