Lady Hornets open season successfully at Mount St. Mary
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
LITTLE ROCK — Closing ranks after losing senior Dezerea Duckworth to a season-ending knee injury, the Bryant Lady Hornets officially opened the 2013-14 season Tuesday night with a rousing 61-39 win over the Mount St. Mary Academy Belles at the McCauley Center.
Four players scored in double figures led by senior Peyton Weaver who poured in 17 points including a trio of 3-pointers. Jakeria Otey finished with 13, Aubree Allen and Maddie Baxter 10 apiece as the Lady Hornets shot 67 percent from the field (22 of 33) on the way to the victory.
After an 11-2 start, Bryant built as much as a 29-point lead in the game.
“I thought for two, two-and-a-half quarters we were really in rhythm on offense,” said Lady Hornets coach Brad Matthews. “We were able to get some transition. I thought that kind of freed us up a little bit in the half-court to make some shots. I thought we executed for about two-and-a-half quarters then we started getting a little ragged. First game of the year, you might say that’s going to happen but it shouldn’t. We’ve got to clean that up.
“It’s a good way to go into a little break here,” he added, referring to the Thanksgiving holiday. “We’ve still got a lot of things to build on. We got a lot of kids who got a chance to play tonight that didn’t get a chance to play in ninth grade very much. Hopefully, they’ll just keep getting better and better and better as the season goes on. It’s always easier to get better after a win.”
Bryant forced 20 turnovers including seven in the first quarter when the lead was established. Otey broke the ice with a layup off a turnover. Hailey Burnett answered for the Belles but then the Lady Hornets reeled off an 9-0 run. Otey broke the tie then Allen hit a layup.
With 4:32 left in the quarter, Allen hit a free throw and followed up with a steal and layup. Jayla Anderson swiped the ball and drove for another easy deuce to make it 11-2.
Mount closed to within 17-12 early in the second quarter before the Lady Hornets put together another run. The 14-1 stretch began with Anderson rebounding Baxter’s missed free throw and getting fouled on the follow. She hit one of the free throws then, after a Belles miss, Erica Smith scored off an inbounds play under the Bryant basket to make it 20-12.
After Anderson added another free throw, Baxter made a steal and a layup. Moments later, she fed Smith for a bucket. A moving screen cost the Belles possession and Otey took advantage by draining a 3-pointer to make it 28-12.
Ellie Bilger, who led her team with 18 points, interrupted the run for Mount with a free throw but Weaver popped her first triple to cap off the blitz, making it 31-13 at the half.
The run continued with a stickback by Otey after Anderson made another steal. Mount’s Bailey Weinberger hit a free throw and, with the Belles trying to press, Otey led a fast break and fed Allen for a short bankshot to make it 35-14.
With 6:40 left in the third quarter, Bilger ended a field goal drought for Mount that started with 6:15 left in the second quarter. Her three-point play, however, was answered by Weaver’s second trey.
Otey fed Allen again and, after Bilger scored, Allen and Weaver knocked down free throws. With 3:33 left, Weaver scored as she was fouled and, after a Mount timeout, she canned her third 3 to make it 48-19, the largest lead of the game.
Bilger and Baxter traded baskets and the Belles whittled the lead to 50-24 going into the fourth quarter. Emily Engnath scored the first 4 points of the final period to cut the margin to 22 but that was as close as the Belles would get. Otey started another surge for Bryant with back-to-back hoops on pull-up jumpers in the lane. Weaver completed her night with a pair of free throws and with 4:14 left, it was 56-28.
Down the stretch, Baxter 4 of 6 free throws and Rachel Miller added one to help the Lady Hornets maintain a lead of 20-plus.
Bryant is scheduled to return to action at the OrthoArkansas/Baptist Health Tournament at Central Arkansas Christian on Thursday, Dec. 5. They’ll take on Camden Fairview at 4 p.m. On Friday, they’ll play Maumelle at 7 and Saturday, it’ll be a contest against the host team at 4:30.
LADY HORNETS 61, BELLES 39
Bryant 15 16 19 11 — 61
Mount St. Mary 7 6 10 15 — 39
Otey 6-12 0-0 13, Weaver 5-6 4-5 17, Anderson 2-2 2-4 6, Allen 4-5 2-6 10, Smith 2-3 0-0 4, Baxter 3-4 4-9 10, Patton 0-1 0-0 0, Miller 0-0 1-2 1, Barber 0-0 0-1 0, Hill 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-33 13-27 61.
MOUNT ST. MARY 39
Bilger 6-18 4-6 18, Burnett 1-1 0-0 2, Weinsinger 2-9 1-2 5, Arrigo 0-0 1-2 1, Weyrands 0-5 0-0 0, Walls 1-4 0-1 2, Engnath 4-9 2-2 10, Alvarez 0-0 0-0 0, Quick 0-0 1-2 1, Costa 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-46 9-15 39.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 4-4 (Weaver 3-3, Otey 1-1), Mount St. Mary 2-5 (Bilger 2-4, Weinsinger 0-1). Rebounds: Bryant 28 (Otey, Weaver, Anderson 5), Mount St. Mary 26 (Bilger, Burnett, Walls 3). Turnovers: Bryant 19, Mount St. Mary 20. Team fouls: Bryant 20, Mount St. Mary 21. Fouled out: Mount St. Mary, Burnett.