Lady Charging Wildcats run away from Lady Hornets

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Allison Steen led the Lady Hornets with 8 points. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

NORTH LITTLE ROCK — Though the North Little Rock Lady Charging Wildcats had put together a 10-0 run following a game-opening basket by Bryant sophomore Allison Steen, with a minute left in the first quarter, the Lady Hornets only trailed 12-6.

That was thanks to another bucket by Steen, a layup off a nice feed from Raven Loveless and, moments later, a 10-foot jumper by Lania Ratliff.

But in the final five seconds of the quarter, North Little Rock’s Yo’Myris Morris scored 4 points to turn the 6-point edge into a 10-point advantage.

And when Morris scored again to start the second quarter and Amber Hawkison made a steal and layup, the lead was up to 20-6.

The Lady Hornets never recovered as the Lady Charging Wildcats improved to 17-2 overall this season and 4-1 in the 7A-Central Conference with a 63-23 win at Bryant’s expense.

Among the most talented teams in the state, North Little Rock led 31-12 at the half and 53-16 by the end of the third quarter.

Raven Loveless (2) tries to shoot over North Little Rock’s Olivia Sadler. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

The Lady Hornets, struggling all season with inexperience and match-up problems, had all of their personnel in place after injuries and absences had left them short-handed over the previous two weeks or so. It was a tough time to be trying to get everybody back in sync.

But, as Lady Hornets head coach Brad Matthews said, they had some good moments. Those moments just didn’t last long enough against a very difficult opponent.

Morris, a 6-1 forward, finished with 12 points. Hawkison and Mackenzie Tillman each scored 11.

Steen pace Bryant with 8 points. Ratliff and Raven Loveless had 4 each.

The Lady Cats’ length and athleticism were just difficult for the Lady Hornets to contend with for an extended period. North Little Rock out-rebounded Bryant 33-12. And it got rough under the boards. Still, the Lady Hornets didn’t shoot a free throw until 3:04 was all that remained of the game. Kelly Williams got to the line a second time with 1:52 to go and she was 3 of 4 to account for all of Bryant’s chances at the charity stripe.

Admittedly, the Lady Cats were just 5-of-8 from the line. But that’s an indication of how the officials were letting them play. That proved to be the advantage of the larger, more physical and athletic team.

Kelly Williams (12) has her shot blocked as she drives to the basket. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Trailing 20-6, the Lady Hornets interrupted with a 15-footer from Steen. But Jordyn Neal pulled off a drive into the paint for a jumper then Hawkison hit a layup off a Bryant turnover to make it 24-8.

Ratliff knocked down a 12-footer but before the Lady Hornets could score again, North Little Rock pushed the lead to 31-10. Loveless hit a layup with :14 left in the half to make it a 19-point game at the intermission.

Any mystery about the outcome was certainly dashed when North Little Rock opened up the third quarter with a 14-0 surge. Loveless scored then the Lady Cats went on an 8-0 push before Riley Hill drained a 15-footer from the left wing for Bryant.

That made it 53-16 going into the fourth quarter, a lead that put the sportsmanship rule into effect.
It was 61-16 before the Lady Hornets could score in the final period. Steen, off a feed from Williams, got the basket. After Williams’ free throws on either side of Demyla Brown’s basket were followed up by Mary Catherine Selig’s basket in the final minute to set the score.

The Lady Hornets will be back home this Friday against Conway.

LADY CHARGING WILDCATS 63, LADY HORNETS 23

Score by quarters

BRYANT          6          6          4          7 — 23

No.Little Rock 16        15        22        10 — 63

LADY HORNETS (3-14, 0-5) 23

Ratliff 2-2 0-0 4, Steen 4-12 0-0 8, Williams 0-4 3-4 3, Hill 1-4 0-0 2, Rogers 0-1 0-0 0, Walker 0-2 0-0 0, Loveless 2-5 0-0 4, Selig 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 10-32 3-4 23.

LADY CHARGING WILDCATS (17-2, 4-1) 63

Hawkison 5-7 0-0 11, Tucker 3-5 3-4 9, Tillman 5-7 0-0 11, Sadler 1-3 0-0 2, Morris 6-8 0-0 12, Pettus 0-2 0-2 0, Brown 1-5 0-0 2, Neal 3-4 0-0 6, Ford 1-3 0-0 2, McGee 3-5 2-2 8, Mackey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-49 5-8 63.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 0-1 (Williams 0-1), North Little Rock 2-10 (Tillman 1-3, Hawkison 1-2, Tucker 0-2, Brown 0-2, Neal 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 18, North Little Rock 12. Rebounds: Bryant 2-10 12 (Ratliff 0-3 3, Steen 0-3 3, Williams 1-0 1, Walker 0-1 1, Loveless 1-0 1, team 1-2 3), North Little Rock 12-21 33 (Morris 3-5 8, Sadler 3-3 6, Pettus 1-3 4, Brown 0-4 4, Tucker 1-1 2, Neal 0-2 2, Ford 1-1 2, McGee 2-0 2, Hawkison 0-1 1, Tillman 0-1 1, team 1-0 1). Team fouls: Bryant 6, North Little Rock 9.

Kalia Walker fires a shot between two North Little Rock defenders including Amber Hawkison (3). (Photo by Kevin Nagle)



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