Lady Cats bury 18 3’s to overwhelm Lady Hornets

File photo by Kevin Nagle

It figures that the highest-percentage shot is a layup but, for the Conway Lady Cats on Friday night, shooting a 3 was just about as sure a thing. The Lady Cats bombed the Bryant Lady Hornets into submission, hitting a whopping 18 3’s in 35 attempts. They had just 6 baskets from inside the arc on the way to a 73-34 victory.

The Lady Cats were thus able to keep pace with the nationally-ranked and still unbeaten Fort Smith Northside Lady Bears, who drilled crosstown rival Southside, 67-34. Conway, now 20-3 overall and 6-1 against the league has only lost to Northside.

The Lady Hornets midway through the gauntlet of playing the top three teams in the 6A-Central Conference, fell to 3-4 in league play and 12-6 overall, tied for fourth with Cabot, which lost to North Little Rock.

Bryant lost to North Little Rock on Tuesday and starts the second half of the round-robin conference schedule next Friday at Northside.

Against Conway, the Lady Hornets were even 13-13 with 2:34 left in the first quarter. That’s when the Lady Cats went on a 22-1 blitz that included six 3-pointers.

“You’ve got to give Conway credit,” said Lady Hornets coach Brad Matthews. “I thought we played well for the first four to six minutes. They just kept making shot after shot, contested shots. They played really, really well and we played well in spurts.”

Bryant had tied it when India Atkins hit a layup of a nice feed from Allison Steen moments after McKenzie Muse had knocked down a 3.

By the end of the quarter, Conway had taken an 18-13 lead. Jadah Pickens hit a 3 to start the second stanza then Muse hit a free throw before the onslaught commenced with Reagan Roetzel canning a trio of triples and Pickens another before.

Conway built the lead to 35-14 before the Lady Hornets’ first field goal of the quarter, a 3 by point guard Tierra Trotter.

Trotter followed with a steal and layup. Pickens scored off the offensive glass then Muse drilled her second 3 to make it 37-22. But that was as close as Bryant could get.

Conway led 42-23 at the half then blitzed the Lady Hornets again to start the third quarter, 20-2 on six 3’s and a layup.

Bryant wound up shooting under 25 percent from the field, going just 3 of 25 from 3-point range as they tried to play catch-up.

“Conway plays a different defense than North Little Rock did on Tuesday — than Northside does, Central does,” said Matthews. “You’ve just got to execute against that zone much better.

Trotter led the Lady Hornets with 11 points. Muse had 7 and Atkins 6.

Roetzel paced Conway with 15 points. Asiyha Smith scored 14 points with Pickens and Jaiden Thomas adding 13 each. That quartet combined for 14 of Conway’s 3’s.

“We’ve got to learn from it,” Matthews declared. “They’re a really good team and when really good teams play well — they’re a hard match-up for everybody in our state. It’s not just us. You’ve got to give Conway full credit. They made a bunch of shots tonight.

“We’ve just got to make sure that we keep digging, keep fighting,” he asserted. “We’re halfway through the conference and we’ve got to keep getting more and more wins to get into the State tournament because once you get in the State tournament, things can happen.

“Basketball season is not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” the coach reminded. “We’ve got to look at it that way. Every day’s a chance to get better. We’ve got to take advantage of them.”

LADY CATS 73, LADY HORNETS 34

Score by quarters

Conway           18        24        21        10 — 73

BRYANT           13        10        6          5 — 34

LADY CATS (20-3, 6-1) 73

Roetzel 5-9 0-0 15, Pickens 5-6 0-0 13, Yelder 2-9 0-0 6, Smith 4-7 3-4 14, Chatman 1-1 0-1 2, Thomas 4-5 2-4 13, McMillen 2-6 0-0 6, Turner 0-1 2-2 2, 1-1 0-0 2, York 0-1 0-0 0, Wiseman 0-1 0-0 0. Totals:24-47 (51%) 7-11 (64%) 73.

LADY HORNETS (12-6, 3-4) 34

Trotter 5-12 0-0 11, Atkins 3-9 0-0 6, Martin 1-5 1-2 3, Gordon 1-6 2-2 4, Muse 2-9 1-2 7, Steen 0-1 0-0 0, Walker 0-5 2-2 2, Russ 0-1 1-2 1, Taylor 0-3 0-0 0. Totals:12-51 (24%) 7-10 (70%) 34.

Three-point field goals:Bryant 3-25 (Muse 2-7, Trotter 1-7, Taylor 0-3, Walker 0-3, Martin 0-2, Atkins 0-1, Gordon 0-1, Steen 0-1), Conway 18-35 (Roetzel 5-9, Smith 3-5, Pickens 3-4, Thomas 3-4, Yelder 2-7, McMillen 2-5, York 0-1). Turnovers:Bryant 19, Conway 15. Rebounds:Bryant 15-16 31 (Gordon 3-4 7, Atkins 3-3 6, Russ 1-3 4, Muse 3-0 3, Steen 0-3 3, Martin 1-1 2, Trotter 1-0 1, Walker 1-0 1, team 2-2 4), Conway 11-26 37 (Yelder 3-7 10, Smith 1-4 5, Pickens 2-2 4, Thomas 1-3 4, Turner 1-2 3, Roetzel 1-1 2, York 0-2 2, Chatman 0-1 1, Summerville 1-0 1, team 1-4 5). Team fouls:Bryant 9, Conway 8.



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