Lady Hornets convincing in pre-season outing at Perryville

By Rob Patrick

PERRYVILLE — In basketball — it seems more than any other sport — a team from a smaller school can, in a single game, compete with a team from a larger school and a victory is never out of the question.

So, when the Class 7A Bryant Lady Hornets played a pre-season scrimmage against the Class 3A Perryville Lady Mustangs on Thursday, Nov. 12, there were no guarantees that the Lady Hornets would win let along have an easy time of it.Of course, Bryant has a veteran team with high expectations for the 2009-10 season.

And they eased to a 19-2 start against the Lady Mustangs on the way to a 62-37 win.[more]

Head coach Blake Condley commented, “We started the game well. The girls played with a lot of energy and a lot of intensity and sometimes you can’t tell how that’s going to go. Sometimes that energy leads to throwing it off the wall and things that you don’t want. But I thought we played with good energy and good intensity to get some steals, get some easy baskets, things we work on in practice.”

In the opening quarter, eight different players scored for the Lady Hornets led by Hannah Goshien who pumped in 7 of her 11 points in the period.

Perryville actually scored first on a pair of free throws but, in short order, the Lady Horents scored 13 points. Alana Morris, who scored a game-high 21 points on the day she signed to play under scholarship at Tennessee State next year, got an assist on a basket by Kenzee Calley to get things started. Abbi Stearns scored inside then Haley Montgomery fed Morris for a bucket then Goshien for her first hoop.

“One thing that I was really pleased with is I thought we made the extra pass,” Condley stated. “I didn’t think we had anybody who was trying to get theirs. They were hitting the open girl, making the extra pass, letting that next girl get the shot. And that’s going to be a huge key for us being successful this year, playing good team basketball.”

Goshien pumped in a 3, Montgomery made a steal and drove for a layup and Perryville needed a timeout down 13-2 just three minutes into the contest.

When play resumed, so did the Lady Hornets’ run. Goshien the offensive glass and was fouled. Her two free throws were followed by a 12-foot jumper by Shanika Johnson and another basket inside by Stearns to make it 19-2.

Two free throws by Perryville’s Tiffany Hubbard interrupted but, at the other end, a three-point play off a lob inside by Brooke Parish bumped the lead to 22-4.

Perryville got its first field goal at the 1:24 mark by Jacque Corinado but when Taylor Neal beat the buzzer for a 3 for the Lady Hornets, the lead was 25-6.

Condley used a lot of players in the second quarter and, to their credit, the Lady Mustangs rallied to within 28-15 by halftime then, with a 3 by Taylor Reed and a basket by Sarah Johnson, cut the margin to 8, 28-20, early in the third quarter.

“We wanted to look at a lot of combinations, some we haven’t used in practice,” Condley mentioned. “I feel like that’s what this game was for, just to try to look at some things and see how they go. We wanted to play a lot of kids.”

But Perryville never got any closer. Goshien fed Morris for a bucket inside then Morris made a steal and returned the favor as Goshien hit a layup. Montgomery fed Parish for another hoop then Goshien made a steal that led to another basket by Morris. Suddenly, it was 36-20.

The lead grew to 23 early in the fourth quarter and the final margin was the largest.

Stearns finished with 8 points and seven rebounds. Parish and Johnson each had 7. Calley finished with a game-high 10 rebounds.

“We now have some film to go back and look at,” Condley said. “There were a lot of things we need to fix, that we need to work on. We didn’t block out well defensively. Perryville did a very good job of going to the boards and we gave up way too many offensive rebounds. I also thought that when we closed out defensively with our hands down, if Perryville would’ve been looking to shoot — and, in the second half, I thought they squeezed off a few because we did have our hands down. It’s not that we haven’t worked on that all pre-season but now we can go back and show them the film and they can see it too.”

In a quarter of junior varsity play, Bryant’s girls out-scored Perryville’s 15-0. Neal had 5 points for Bryant.

The Lady Hornets open the regular-season on Dec. 3 in the first round of a tournament in Bentonville.

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