Lady Hornets no match for Nettleton — yet

NORTH LITTLE ROCK — There will come a time when the Bryant Lady Hornets are as mature and strong and skilled as the Nettleton Lady Raiders were on Saturday afternoon at the North Little Rock Thanksgiving Classic.

But not yet.

The Lady Raiders started two seniors and three juniors who were skilled, thick and athletic and it proved to be a tough match-up for the three sophomores and two juniors that the Lady Hornets started.

What made it worse was that the Lady Hornets struggled to make shots. Even when they found their way through the physical Nettleton defense to get to the basket, the layups weren’t falling.

Bryant shot just 20 percent from the floor including just 1 of 15 from beyond the 3-point arc as Nettleton forged a 62-22 victory.

Going in, Lady Hornets head coach Brad Matthews said it was a chance to see how his team measured up to one of the best in the state and, as might be expected in just the second game of most of the team’s high school career, they’ve got work to do.

But Matthews already knew that. What he saw was his sophomore-laden Lady Hornets weren’t intimidated and didn’t back off at all against the Lady Raiders, an encouraging sign.

Actually, besides the poor shooting, the Lady Hornets were only overmatched on the boards where that stronger, taller Lady Raiders finished with a 46-20 advantage.

Bailey Booker scored 16 points and Dasia Young 14 to lead Nettleton, now 6-1.

Bryant, 1-1, was paced by the only player on the team with more than one game of varsity starting experience, Kalia Walker, who had 8 points. Ty Robinson had 6.

Nettleton built a 7-0 lead before Robinson scored on a drive to the basket at the 5:12 mark. It was then 17-2 before Walker added to Bryant’s score.

Down 19-4, the Lady Hornets got an offensive rebound basket from Ivory Russ as she was fouled. Though she missed the free throw, MeKeycia Baker grabbed an offense rebound and missed then Russ rebounded but they could not cash in the opportunity.

It was 21-6 at the end of the quarter then 32-6 before Lexie Taylor hit a 3 for the Lady Hornets at the 5:13 mark of the second period.

It was 43-16 at the half, 59-18 going into the fourth quarter.

The game was a learning experience for the Lady Hornets, as all of them will be so early in the season. Some lessons have to be learned the hard way and Nettleton was definitely difficult.

The Lady Hornets will try to take those lessons to the practice court on Monday as they prepare for a game at Greenbrier on Tuesday then a three-day tournament at Bentonville starting Monday.

LADY RAIDERS 62, LADY HORNETS 22

Score by quarters

BRYANT          6          10        2          4 — 22

Nettleton        21        22        16        3 — 62

LADY HORNETS 22

T.Trotter 0-13 1-2 1, Robinson 3-9 0-0 6, Gordon 0-1 0-0 0, Walker 3-8 2-2 8, Martin 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor 1-2 0-0 3, Russ 1-3 2-7 4, Baker 0-2 0-0 0, Atkins 0-3 0-0 0, Scifres 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 8-41 5-11 22.

LADY RAIDERS 62

Elder 3-7 0-0 7, Booker 6-9 0-0 16, Love 1-5 4-4 6, Crippen 1-2 0-0 2, Young 5-8 4-6 14, Woodruff 0-4 2-4 2, Pepper 4-7 0-0 8, Meabon 1-2 0-0 2, Dixon 1-1 0-0 2, Dacus 1-2 0-0 3, Sharp 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Fowler 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-51 10-18 62.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 1-15 (Taylor 1-1, T.Trotter 0-8, Walker 0-5, Robinson 0-1), Nettleton 6-14 (Booker 4-6, Elder 1-5, Dacus 1-1, Woodruff 0-1, Williams 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 18, Nettleton 15. Rebounds: Bryant 6-14 20 (Russ 2-3 5, T.Trotter 0-3 3, Robinson 0-3 3, Gordon 0-1 1, Williams 1-0 1, Martin 0-1 1, Taylor 0-1 1, Baker 1-0 1, Atkins 1-0 1, team 1-2 3), Nettleton 14-32 46 (Young 4-4 8, Booker 3-3 6, Pepper 1-5 6, Love 3-1 4, Meabon 1-3 4, Elder 0-3 3, Crippen 0-2 2, Dacus 0-2 2, Woodruff 1-0 1, Dixon 0-1 1, Sharp 1-0 1, Johnson 0-1 1, Brown 0-1 1, team 0-6 6). Team fouls: Bryant 12, Nettleton 13.

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