Lady Hornets ‘school’ Lady Hogs
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
Latasha Harris, the 6-2 senior center for the Texarkana Lady Razorbacks, had been a two-sport star for her school for two years. Good enough in both volleyball and basketball that college recruiters were showing interest. Word is, she was advised to concentrate on one or the other to strengthen her chances. So, last fall, she chose not to play volleyball in order to concentrate on basketball.
Well, after the Bryant Lady Hornets worked her over Tuesday night, Harris may want to re-think that decision.
All of Bryant’s post players got a piece of Harris offensively, while the Lady Hornets completely frustrated her with their defense on the way to a convincing 65-48 win.
Bryant’s 5-9 junior center Bekka Middleton took Harris to school time after time with her turnaround jumper. Junior reserve center Shannon Amos burned Harris for a trip to the free-throw line, and both of Bryant’s sophomore post players Kim Jacuzzi and Ashley Fitz scored against her. Fitz actually scored a couple of times on Harris in the late going.
Defensively, the Lady Hornets foiled Texarkana’s repeated efforts to lob passes into the center. Heather Atkins repeatedly broke up those plays. Middleton, Jacuzzi and forward Emily Hantz spoiled a few as well.
Harris wound up sitting on the bench for awhile in the first half, she was so ineffective. She wound up with 9 points, 7 of which she scored in the fourth quarter, and just three rebounds.
Meanwhile, Middleton pumped in 16 points and grabbed 8 rebounds as the Lady Hornets improved to 14-3 overall and 4-0 in the AAAAA-South Conference. The win, coupled with Pine Bluff’s victory over Sheridan, set up a first-place showdown this Friday when the Fillies (13-3, 4-0) host the Lady Hornets.
Bryant never trailed Texarkana, which fell to 10-5 overall and 1-2 in league play. In fact, the Lady Hornets scored the game’s first 10 points including 3-pointers by Joanie Robideaux and Ashley Wallis.
Wallis matched Middleton for team-high honors with 16 points. Robideaux added 10 and Atkins 7 as 11 of the 13 Lady Hornets scored in the game.
Texarkana was led by Michelle Hayes’ 17 points. Ashley Plant had 11 including her team’s first bucket, a 3-pointer almost four minutes into the game.
Texarkana actually rallied to within 11-10 late in the opening quarter but a driving layup by Wallis in the last minute ensured the Lady Hornets’ advantage going into the second period.
Middleton then went to work on Harris, scoring the first 7 points of the quarter for Bryant forcing a Texarkana timeout with the Lady Hornets up 20-12 at the 6:03 mark.
When play resumed, Texarkana’s Krashenti Wyatt missed on a 3-point try. At the other end, Harris managed her one and only block of a Middleton attempt. But Jacuzzi was there for the offensive rebound and a stickback.
Harris was fouled as she and Atkins went after a lob into the low post with 5:09 showing. She missed both free throws and, moments later, Middleton scored over her again to make it 24-12.
Soon thereafter, the frustrated Texarkana center was on the bench as the Lady Razorbacks put together a run to trim the Bryant lead to 7. The Lady ‘Backs had two chances to get closer but couldn’t cash in. A layup by Candace Croy off a fine feed from Wallis bumped the lead back up for Bryant. Middleton then made a steal that resulted in a trip to the line for Wallis. Her free throw made it 29-19 at the half.
Texarkana scored the first 5 points of the third quarter but Bryant answered with a 12-2 blitz the rest of the quarter. Atkins started the run with a three-point play and Wallis finished it with a driving layup.
Bryant led 41-26 going into the fourth quarter.
Harris managed her first basket since the first quarter when she scored off the offensive glass to start the fourth period, but Robideaux trumped that with her second 3 of the game.
Atkins, in turn, knocked away a lob intended for Harris and Wallis converted on a pair of free throws to bump the lead to 18.
After 3-pointers by Rodneisha Pree and Plant around a Middleton free throw cut the margin to 13, Bryant put together a run that removed any lingering doubt about the game’s result.
Wallis sliced through the Lady Razorbacks’ defense for a layup, Middleton added a baseline jumper then Atkins and Wallis tacked on a pair of free throws apiece.
When Wallis drove for another layup with 4:17 left to make it a 10-0 run and a 57-34 lead, Bryant head coach Carla Crowder started working in her reserves. After Hayes interrupted Bryant’s run, Tiffany Kennedy and Lindsey Menard gunned in unanswered buckets from the perimeter to give Bryant its largest lead at 61-36.