Lady Hornets’ big second quarter sparks win at Greenbrier

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MeKeycia Baker (43) tries to score inside. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

GREENBRIER — After scoring just 5 points in the first quarter, the Bryant Lady Hornets jumped into a 1-3-1 press that not only jump-started them but forced the Greenbrier Lady Panthers to rush things, taking them out of their rhythm.

Bryant was able to turn a 13-5 deficit at the end of the first quarter into a 28-20 lead at the half.

Though they were only awarded two free throws in the second half, the Lady Hornets maintained their defense to forge a 48-40 victory on Tuesday night.

Ty Robinson (2) tries to drive the baseline around a pair of Greenbrier defenders. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

All nine players that got into the game added to the scoring along the way for the Lady Hornets, who were led by Ty Robinson’s 10 points. Bryant forced 18 turnovers and out-rebounded the taller Lady Panthers, 36-30.

“We came out in a lot of man, tried to pressure and we picked up some early fouls,” noted Lady Hornets head coach Brad Matthews. “We still need to force tempo and we just weren’t getting tempo in the first quarter. So, we were able to get some tempo in the second. We played well.

“I’m proud of our kids for fighting back on the road,” he added. “Greenbrier had some opportunities to cut it down but, in the third and fourth quarters, I thought we had some good defensive possessions.

“We’ve got to build on that,” the coach asserted. “We’re young but there were some really good possessions tonight, some really good periods in the game where we played well in terms of execution and being tough. We’ve got three games in a row now to hopefully build on that so that, a week from now, we’re a lot better team than we are now. I’m really proud of our kids.”

Celena Martin pulls up for a jumper over Greenbrier’s Blysse Harmon (31). (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

The Lady Hornets head to Bentonville and the Crabtree Invitational Tournament on Wednesday. They’ll open play in the tourney with the late game (at 8:30 p.m.) against Clarksville.

“There were spurts tonight when we really fought and played with energy and that’s what we’ve to do consistently to be good — play with tempo,” Matthews insisted. “We have enough depth. We’ve just got to be able to rotate people in and play at a high level with energy and tempo.”

Greenbrier hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter to help them gain the upper hand while Bryant was converting just 2 of 10 shots from the field.

In the second quarter, the press produced no more turnovers than Greenbrier had suffered in the first period (six) but the Lady Hornets started finding their shooting range. A drive to the basket by Kalia Walker started the scoring. Greenbrier’s Breleigh Simmons countered with a pair of free throws. Lexie Taylor scored as she was fouled with 6:46 left in the half, starting a Bryant rally.

Another layup by Walker, a free throw by Robyn Gordon and a basket by Ivory Russ off a drive cut the margin to 15-14.

Ivory Russ releases a shot with the off-hand. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

But Bryant didn’t gain the lead until after a timeout with 2:31 left. They jumped into the press and finished the half on a 13-2 blitz. Robinson’s 3 ignited the push. Russ and Robinson added free throws and the Lady Hornets were up 21-18.

Makayla Seyller interrupted for Greenbrier but Russ kept the Lady Hornets ahead with a driving layup. Gordon converted a pair of free throws with :35.7 showing and, moments later, turned in a three-point play to make it 28-20 at the half.

Bryant never trailed in the second half. The teams traded baskets in the third quarter. Greenbrier trimmed the margin to 34-29 but Tierra Trotter nailed a 30-foot jumper at the buzzer to make it 37-29 going into the final period.

And when India Atkins scored on a baseline drive, the lead was 10.

Twice the Lady Panthers cut the margin to 6 but they could get no closer. MeKeycia Baker made a pair of big baskets down the stretch. Her three-point play off a feed from Russ with 1:48 left pushed the advantage to 46-37.

Lexie Taylor splits a pair of Greenbrier defenders on the way to the rack. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Simmons misfired at the other end and, with 1:11 to go, Robinson drove for a basket to seal the deal.

LADY HORNETS 48, LADY PANTHERS 40

Score by quarters

BRYANT          5          23        9          11 — 48

Greenbrier      13        7          9          11 — 40

LADY HORNETS 48

T.Trotter 2-6 0-1 5, Robinson 2-5 3-4 8, Walker 2-6 0-0 4, Martin 4-7 0-2 8, R.Gordon 1-7 4-5 6, Russ 3-4 2-5 8, Baker 2-5 1-1 5, Taylor 1-2 0-3 2, Adkins 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 18-45 (40%) 10-21 (48%) 48.

LADY PANTHERS 40

Naylor 3-10 0-0 8, Seyller 3-3 0-2 7, Harmon 2-5 0-2 4, Donham 4-8 5-8 14, Simmons 0-8 4-4 4, Moss 1-4 0-0 3, Glover 0-1 0-0 0, T.Gordon 0-0 0-0 0, Gilpin 0-0 0-0 0, Garrett 0-0 0-0 0, Spencer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-39 (33%) 9-16 (56%) 40.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 2-11 (T.Trotter 1-4, Robinson 1-2, Walker 0-3, Taylor 0-1, Adkins 0-1), Greenbrier 5-16 (Naylor 2-7, Donham 1-4, Moss 1-1, Seyller 1-1, Simmons 0-3). Turnovers: Bryant 16, Greenbrier 18. Rebounds: Bryant 13-23 36 (Russ 2-5 7, R.Gordon 3-3 6, Martin 4-1 5, Robinson 1-3 4, Walker 0-4 4, T.Trotter 1-2 3, Baker 1-2 3, Taylor 0-1 1, Adkins 0-1 1, team 1-1 2), Greenbrier 9-21 30 (Naylor 2-3 5, Seyller 1-5 5, Harmon 2-2 4, Donham 0-4 4, Simmons 1-1 2, Moss 1-1 2, T.Gordon 0-1 1, team 2-5 7). Team fouls: Bryant 18, Greenbrier 19. Fouled out: Greenbrier, Moss.



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