Bryant’s thievery burns Lady Cards
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
Though it took a few minutes to develop, in the end Tuesday night’s game between the Bryant Lady Hornets, ranked eighth in the state and just a game out of first in the AAAAA-South Conference, and the Camden Fairview Lady Cardinals, winless in league play, proved to be about what one would expect.
A Bryant rout.
The Lady Hornets improved to 15-4 on the season and 5-1 in conference play with a 75-42 romp over the sophomore-laden Lady Cardinals, who dropped to 3-12 and 0-6.
Despite a sluggish start on offense in the first four minutes, the Lady Hornets revved up behind their defense which forced a whopping 14 Fairview turnovers in the first quarter alone, 19 in the first half and 30 for the game.
Bryant led just 4-3 with 4:22 left in the first period when Ashley Wallis made the second of her four steals in the quarter and drove for a layup. The Lady Hornets then prevented the Lady Cards from inbounding the ball. The five-second violation returned possession to Bryant. Wallis fed Bekka Middleton in the post and it was quickly 8-3.
The two teams traded misses then Wallis dished to Middleton again for short-range jumper. Emily Hantz and Heather Atkins combined on a theft and Wallis found Atkins open for a 10-foot jumper and a 12-3 lead.
A 3-pointer by Fairview’s Emily Moll with 1:20 left in the quarter ended a five-minute dryspell, cutting the lead to 6. Bryant turned the ball over but Middleton swiped it right back and turned the tables on Wallis, feeding her this time for a layup.
Joanie Robideaux took her turn with her third steal of the quarter and drove for a layup. Hantz collected her third steal and Wallis wound up at the free-throw line where she made it 18-6.
A free throw by Fairview’s Krystal Johnson was matched by Wallis who followed her missed second shot with a steal and layup, giving Bryant a 21-7 lead going into the second quarter.
Wallis wound up with all 17 of her points in the first half. Middleton matched that total on the way to a game-high 20-point, 9-rebound night.
Lindsey Menard fed Middleton for the first basket of the second period, then teamed with Robideaux on yet another theft. Middleton converted a pair of free throws to make it 25-7.
After an exchange of possessions, Atkins made her third steal of the game which eventually led to a trip to the line for Hantz and a 26-7 bulge.
Johnson’s baseline jumper with 5:45 left in the half provided Fairview’s first points of the quarter. Middleton trumped that with a three-point play and, after a Moll miss, two more free throws when she was fouled collecting the defensive rebound.
Fairview managed to trim the lead to 16 by the 2:39 mark but Atkins scored on a stickback, Tiffany Kennedy, in off the bench, joined in the thievery and Wallis hit a layup to push it to 20 again.
Moll hit two free throws with 1:15 left then the Lady Hornets finished the half with a flurry. Middleton scored off a give-and-go with Hantz; Robideaux fed Hantz inside for a short jumper and Wallis finished things off with a hook shot over Fairview center Andrea Gill to make it 45-21.
The onslaught picked up again in the third quarter as Bryant started beating Fairview’s defense back. The result was consecutive layups by Hantz (twice) and Lindsey Menard to make it 54-27. Bryant head coach Carla Crowder then sat her starters down except for the sophomore Robideaux who knocked down a 3 and a pair of free throws by the end of the third quarter before giving way to classmate Courtney Stone at the point.
Sophomore guard Candace Croy shined for the Lady Hornets. Her layup with :06 left in the third quarter gave the Lady Hornets a 63-31 lead. She then opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer on her way to scoring 9 points altogether.
Croy followed her 3 with a layup that gave Bryant its largest lead of the game at 68-31 with 6:31 left to play. Bryant’s reserves maintained no less than a 30-point spread as everybody from both teams got playing time.