Lady Hornets use defense to subdue Hall
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
By ROB PATRICK
There are no cupcakes among the girls teams in the AAAAA-Central Conference. The Little Rock Hall Lady Warriors used to be the closest thing to it but, on Friday, Jan. 14, they gave notice early on to the eighth-ranked Bryant Lady Hornets that such was not the case anymore.
The Lady Warriors forged an early lead and were still up 13-12 three minutes into the second quarter before the Lady Hornets extended and intensified their defense to produce a 25-point quarter on their way to a 68-48 win.
Bryant forced 25 turnovers in the game and nine of those in their second-quarter spree.
The Lady Hornets took the lead for good when Ashley Grappe, on her way to a game-high 24 points, nailed her second 3-pointer of the quarter at the 5:05 mark of the second period. Hall missed a chance to answer and Kalin Dreher scored inside on a nice inbound pass from Ashley Grappe to extend the margin to 17-13.
After Hall’s Victoria Overton missed a pair of free throws, Dreher was fouled and converted twice. Amanda Grappe followed with a steal that got Ashley Grappe to the free throw line. She converted once to make it 20-13. Another theft by Amanda Grappe led to her own basket and a 9-point advantage.
Hall, behind a pair of baskets by Kendra Young, was within 24-17 going into the final minute but Bryant’s Bridgette McPeak hit a 12-foot jumper, Ashley Grappe made a steal and fed McPeak for a layup to bump the margin up to double digits.
Young scored again but a three-point play by Amanda Grappe, who finished with 11 points, was followed by a steal from McPeak (8 points) and a free throw to make it 32-19 at the half.
The margin was never less that 13 after that. Dreher and Veronica Overton traded hoops to start the second half and Hall had a chance to cut it to 10 or 11 but Bryant’s Amie Hubbard took a charge and, at the other end, got a nice feed from Amanda Grappe and hit a layup to get the Lady Hornets back on track. Ashley Grappe hit a pair of free throws and Hubbard made a steal and another layup before Hall could score again.
Hubbard finished with 5 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Lady Warriors weren’t helped by the fact that they were just 6 of 22 from the line in the game. They trailed 41-23 and had two empty trips to the stripe. Ashley Grappe, who was 12 of 14 at the line in the game including 10 of 10 in the second half, converted a pair at the 2:53 mark to make it a 20-point game.
The Lady Hornets led 51-28 going into the fourth quarter and maintained that advantage as everyone got into the game. Robin Speake and Jessie Sutton came in off the bench to score 7 points apiece in the second half. The lead ballooned to 68-41 before a Lady Warrior flurry at the end.