LITTLE ROCK — The Mount St. Mary Academy Belles pulled away late to hand the Bryant Lady Hornets their first 7A-Central Conference loss on Tuesday night, 51-37.
Leading 28-21 going into the fourth quarter, the Belles nearly doubled their point total to close out the victory.
“I thought the kids played hard and competed,” said Bryant coach Brad Matthews. “We just didn’t execute very well and let them have some transition baskets in the third quarter. We didn’t do a good job getting back on defense and I thought that allowed them to get a little bit of a lead.
“To start the fourth quarter, we tried to press a little bit,” he noted. “We forced some turnovers but then they executed well and made us pay for it a couple of times on the back end.”
Bryant led 10-8 after a quarter but Mount forged an 18-15 lead by halftime, knocking down a trio of 3’s.
“I can’t fault our effort, can’t fault our desire,” Matthews said. “We’re a young group and sometimes young kids don’t always execute the way they’re supposed to.
“Mount St. Mary’s is a good defensive team,” he added. “They had a great crowd. It was a good environment. I think our kids can grow from that. They didn’t give up and they fought to the end.”
Allison Steen and Kelly Williams each scored 8 points to lead Bryant. Mary Catherine Selig had 5 with Kalia Walker, Kendal Rogers and Lania Ratliff adding 4 each. Riley Hill and Robyn Gordon scored 2 apiece.
“It’s a learning experience for our kids,” Matthews said. “We’re making progress. We’re getting there but when you’re on the road and you don’t execute and you leave some empty possessions out there offensively, defensively, transition, those things are going to show up a lot.
“But we’ll go back to work tomorrow and try to make sure we get better for Friday,” he concluded.
The Lady Hornets host Little Rock Central on Friday as they continue play in conference.