Lady Bears’ fast start creates a hill too steep for Bryant comeback

For more photos from this event by Kevin Nagle, go here

Kendal Rogers gets a shot away before Northside’s Alexis Evans (33) can get there to block it. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

In a make-up game at the Hornets Nest against the Fort Smith Northside Lady Bears Tuesday night, the Bryant Lady Hornets were hoping to duplicate the kind of play that had them down 1 to the Conway Lady Cats last Friday. Since Conway downed Northside 64-49 earlier this season, it figured that, if the Lady Hornets could do that, it might result in their first 7A-Central Conference victory.

Unfortunately, the first quarter went too much like the fourth quarter against Conway. The Lady Hornets fell behind quickly, 17-2, and the Lady Bears’ never led by less that 12 after that on the way to a 53-32 victory.

The lead was 25-8 midway through the second quarter. The Lady Hornets ratcheted up the defense and held the Lady Bears to one point the final four minutes of the half. Though they didn’t take full advantage, the Lady Hornets trimmed the margin to 26-12 on a 3-pointer by Riley Hill and a free throw by Lania Ratliff before the break. And when Allison Steen fed Kendal Rogers for a layup to start the second half, Bryant had battled back to within 12.

At that point, however, Northside’s Maegan Bandimere, who was held to one 3-pointer in the first half, got open to drill two in a row. A basket inside by Topazia Hawkins followed and the Lady Bears were suddenly up by 20, 34-14.

The Lady Hornets were never that close again. Northside led 45-22 going into the fourth quarter. The largest lead was 26 in the fourth quarter.

Lania Ratliff launches a shot over Northside’s Deirah Mays (13). (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Bandimere wound up scoring 11 points to lead her team. Alexis Evans added 10 points and 11 rebounds. Hawkins scored 9 points.

Raven Loveless paced the Lady Hornets with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Kalia Walker scored 7 points and Mary Catherine Selig 6 to go with 10 boards.

In fact, the Lady Hornets held their own rebounding with the Lady Bears. Bryant had 37 rebounds including 16 on the offense end. Northside finished with 35 caroms including 17 on the offensive glass. The problem for the Lady Hornets was that the Lady Bears did a much better job of taking advantage of their work on the offensive boards.

Loveless, playing off the bench, scored all 6 of the Lady Hornets’ points in the first quarter. It was 11-0 before she got free inside and scored with the off-hand. Threes by Bandimere and Fatarah Kinnard followed that, however, to make it 17-2.

Loveless added two free throws with 1:15 left in the quarter after following her own miss. Evans posted up for a basket and Loveless got to the line again with :37.9 showing to make it 19-6.

Raven Loveless led the Lady Hornets with 11 points and 10 rebounds. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

It was 23-6 before the Lady Hornets scored again. With 4:50 left in the half, Selig scored off an assist from Rogers. Northside’s Deirah Mays got free for a bucket off an inbounds play but then Hill popped her 3 to start the Lady Hornets’ bid at a comeback.

That 3 for Hill was one of just two the Lady Hornets hit in the game. Meanwhile, Northside knocked down 6 of 18 in the game including Bandimere’s trio of treys.

After Rogers’ layup to start the second half, the Lady Hornets were unable to find the range again until Walker took a kick-out pass from Rogers and drained the second triple. Aniyah Webster countered for Northside but a three-point play by Loveless had the Lady Hornets fighting back to 37-20.

Mary Catherine Selig (15) shoots as teammate Kelly Williams (12) gets rebound position. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Unfortunately, Northside scored the next 8 points including a 3 by Webster to dash Bryant’s comeback hopes.

The game wrapped up the first round of conference play for the two teams. They were originally set to open the conference but their game on Jan. 6 was snowed out. So now they’ll play back-to-back as the Lady Hornets travel to Northside this Friday.


Score by quarters

FS Northside   19        7          19        8 — 53

BRYANT          6          6          10        10 — 32

LADY BEARS (12-8, 5-2) 53

Hawkins 4-7 1-2 9, Kinnard 1-4 3-4 6, Bandinere 3-6 0-0- 9, Webster 5-11 0-4 11, Smith 1-5 0-0 3, Evans 3-11 4-7 10, Carey 0-2 0-2 0, Green 1-3 0-0 2, Mays 1-1 0-0 2, Sumbler 0-0 1-2 1, Shephert 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-50 (38%) 9-21 (43%) 53.

LADY HORNETS (3-16, 0-7) 32

Ratliff 0-3 1-2 1, Steen 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 0-5 0-0 0, Hill 1-2 0-0 3, Rogers 2-3 0-0 4, Selig 2-6 2-4 6, Walker 2-7 2-4 7, Loveless 3-10 5-9 11. Totals 10-37 (27%) 10-20 (50%) 32.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 1-5 (Walker 1-4, Hill 1-1), FS Northside 6-18 (Bandinere 3-5, Smith 1-5, Kinnard 1-3, Webster 1-2, Carey 0-2, Green 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 24, FS Northside 16. Rebounds: Bryant 16-21 37 (Loveless 4-6 10, Selig 4-6 10, Ratliff 2-4 6, Steen 0-2 2, Williams 2-0 2, Rogers 1-1 2, Hill 0-1 1, team 3-1 4), FS Northside 17-18 35 (Evans 7-4 11, Webster 3-2 5, Bandinere 2-3 5, Hawkins 2-2 4, Green 0-2 2, Kinnard 1-0 1, Carey 1-0 1, Mays 0-1 1, Sumbler 0-1 1, Shepherd 0-1 1, team 1-1 2). Team fouls: Bryant 19, FS Northside 18.

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