Junior Abbi Stearns is a key part of the Bryant Lady Hornets varsity team's success this year. She also usually gets a quarter of playing time in the Lady Hornets' JV games.
On Tuesday, Stearns' quarter was the third and she sparked the Lady Hornets as they overcame a 27-24 deficit with a 17-0 run through the rest of the third and the start of the fourth. Stearns blocked three shots, scored 8 points and grabbed four rebounds during that stretch as the Lady Hornets went on to a 43-38 victory over the Conway Lady Cats JV team at the Hornets Nest.[more]
London Abernathy led Bryant with 18 points including 8 straight in the second quarter as the Lady Hornets overcame a 19-14 deficit to take a 22-21 lead before Conway hit a late basket to produce a 23-22 halftime edge.
Reagan Barker added 6 points, Casey Lee 4, Brittany Ball 3, Callie Hogancamp 2 with Kayla Sory and playmaking point guard Taylor Neal pitching in with a free throw apiece.
Conway built a 15-9 lead by the end of the first quarter. Ball hit a 3 to start the second period but the Lady Cats maintained the advantage until Abernathy's spree. Initially, she drove for a bucket after a Conway turnover. After Conway answered, Neal fed Abernathy for a short jumper. A little while later, Abernathy made a steal and got the ball to Neal who returned the favor for a basket that had Bryant within 21-20. And when Neal and Abernathy combined to force a turnover, Abernathy cashed it in with a layup to give Bryant the lead briefly.
The Lady Cats led 27-24 early in the third quarter when Stearns hit a jump hook to start the game-turning run. It stayed 27-26 for almost two minutes as the two teams went back and forth. Finally, Ball fed Barker for a basket that put the Lady Hornets ahead to stay.
Neal fed Stearns for a jumper from the lane at the 2:50 mark of the quarter. After Conway missed three shots at responding, Abernathy drained a 10-footer to keep the roll going. Stearns blocked a shot and, at the other end, hit the offensive glass for a basket.
Stearns rebounded a Conway miss and, after Barker hit the offensive glass, Stearns drained a 15-footer to make it 36-27. In the final 30 seconds of the quarter, Abernathy scored off a teammate's miss then corded a baseline jumper in the final seconds to put the Lady Hornets ahead 40-27 going into the final period.
Sory hit a free throw to start the scoring in the fourth, giving Bryant its largest lead. Lee countered a Conway basket with 4:36 to make it 43-29. That proved to be the last of Bryant's scoring. Conway would rallied but never got any closer than the final difference.