BENTONVILLE — The Bryant Lady Hornets rallied from a 33-28 deficit in the fourth quarter to edge the Huntsville Lady Eagles in the second round of the Crabtree Invitational Tournament at Bentonville High School on Thursday evening.
The Lady Hornets had opened the tourney on Wednesday, falling to Clarksville 56-39. They’ll finish off the event against host Bentonville on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Tierra Trotter pumped in 17 points to lead Bryant past Huntsville. Kalia Walker added 9 and Ty Robinson had 7.
The Lady Eagles were up 13-6 after a quarter but the Lady Hornets surged in the second to forge a 19-19 tie at the half. Huntsville pushed out to the 33-28 lead by the end of the fourth.
“Once again we got down early,” noted Lady Hornets head coach Brad Matthews. “We tried to play zone early and that just didn’t work. So we went back to man and once we did that, I thought our kids — they had two really good post kids. They do a great job executing what they want to do. Coach (Charlie) Berry has been at Huntsville for 50 years.
“Our kids really fought hard,” he asserted. “Their post player had 17 but we made her work for everything and she only had 3 in the fourth quarter.
“I’m really proud of our kids for getting a win,” the coach added. “Huntsville’s a good team. They beat Farmington on Tuesday by 15 and Farmington is one of the more talented teams in northwest Arkansas. But we were able to pull out a win so I’m really happy for our kids.”
On Tuesday, the Lady Hornets fell behind Clarksville 18-7 in the first quarter and never quite caught up though they cut the margin to 26-19 at the half.
“We got off to a slow start defensively,” said Matthews. “We let them jump up on us by 8 points early. We had some defensive breakdowns. The kids fought back really hard and we had it down to 6 at halftime, which was good. We played with them really tough.
“We did not score a lot in the third quarter, couldn’t rebound, couldn’t get out in transition,” he continued. “That was kind of our downfall. They played zone and we didn’t execute all the time and when we did execute we didn’t make the open shots.”
Clarksville built the lead to 42-25 going into the fourth.
“Other than that third quarter, I think our kids are getting better,” Matthews said. “Clarksville’s a really good 5A team. They’re going to beat a lot of people this year.
“I thought our defense was better than it was at Greenbrier, especially in spurts and I think our spurts are getting a little bit longer where we actually guard people,” he added. “That’s good to see. The fact that we got down and fought back, which we didn’t do against Nettleton (on Saturday), we showed some toughness and some grit. That’s really good to see this time of the year. We can build upon that. At the same time, we don’t like losing.”
Lexie Taylor led the Lady Hornets with 13 points in the game. Robinson added 8 and Trotter 6.