Lady Hornets outburst late in the first half sparks win

The Bryant Lady Hornets trailed the Hot Springs Lady Trojans 16-12 midway through the second quarter of their freshman game at the Bryant Middle School gym.

But, over the final 2:03 of the half, Caitlin LaCerra hit a trio of 3-pointers and Jordan Hancock added one as the Lady Hornets erupted. Those bombs were part of a 14-0 burst to end the half that they extended to 20-0 before Hot Springs scored again with 1:30 left in the third quarter.

In the process, the Lady Hornets doubled up the Lady Trojans, 32-16, on the way to a 41-25 victory on Monday night.

LaCerra finished the first half with four 3’s for her 12 points. Hancock had 12 as well and Parris Atkins finished with 8.

It was Hot Springs that hit 3’s early in the game, matching a triple by Atkins to take a 6-3 lead.

Hancock and LaCerra knocked down long-range missiles to give Bryant a 9-6 lead but Hot Springs hit another one late in the opening quarter to tie it 9-9.

That started a 10-2 run by the Lady Trojans that produced the 16-12 advantage.

After a Bryant timeout, Daria Greer hit a driving jumper to start the Lady Hornets’ surge. LaCerra hit a 3 and, after Greer and Atkins combined to force a turnover, she nailed another one.

Hancock’s 3 made it 23-16 before LaCerra beat the buzzer from the right corner.

“I thought for about the first six minutes, we didn’t play with a lot of energy,” noted Lady Hornets head coach Nathan Castaldi. “Caitlin made a few 3’s and we got a little bounce in our step and played with a little more energy then. 

“But we’ve got to realize that we can’t just play with energy when we’re making shots,” he asserted. “When shots aren’t falling, we still need to play with that defensive intensity. 

“We did a lot better the second half,” the coach acknowledged.

Indeed, the Lady Hornets only allowed 9 points in the second half. In the early stages of the third quarter, Hancock hit a free throw then so did Atkins. Hancock scored as she was fouled but was unable to complete the third point play. Nevertheless, ShaMya Jordan banked in a 10-foot jumper and it was 32-16.

A 3-pointer and a three-point play allowed the Lady Trojans to cut the margin to 10 but a driving layup by Atkins made it 34-22 going into the fourth quarter.

Bryant’s largest lead was 41-24.

The Lady Hornets, now 9-8 overall this season, return to action at Conway White on Thursday before closing out the regular-season at home against Benton on Monday, Feb. 4. The Central Arkansas Junior High Conference Tournament will follow, starting Feb. 11, at Cabot.

LADY HORNETS 41, LADY TROJANS 25

Freshman

Score by quarters

Hot Springs     9          7          6          3 — 25

BRYANT           9          17        8          7 — 41

LADY TROJANS 25

Easter 1-6 1-3 3, Campbell 2-8 0-1 6, Archie 1-3 0-1 2, Dolls 3-10 0-0 9, West 1-5 0-0 3, Rogers 1-4 0-1 2, Frazier 0-0 0-0 0, Erby 0-0 0-0 0, Griffith 0-0 0-2 0. Totals:9-36 (25%) 1-8 (13%) 25.

LADY HORNETS 41

Hancock 5-10 1-5 12, Greer 2-4 1-2 6, LaCerra 4-9 0-0 12, Atkins 3-10 1-2 8, Chappell 0-1 0-0 0, Jordan 1-2 0-0 2, Dillon 0-2 0-0 0, Palmer 0-0 1-2 1, Cicero 0-0 0-0 0, Purifoy 0-3 0-0 0, Mefford 0-0 0-0 0. Totals:15-41 (37%) 4-11 (36%) 41.

Three-point field goals:Bryant 7-19 (LaCerra 4-7, Hancock 1-4, Atkins 1-4, Greer 1-2, Dillon 0-2), Hot Springs 6-18 (Dolls 3-6, Campbell 2-6, West 1-4, Easter 0-2). Turnovers:Bryant 12, Hot Springs 14. Rebounds: Bryant 13-25 38 (Atkins 2-9 11, Hancock 2-4 6, Greer 1-3 4, LaCerra 1-3 4, Dillon 2-2 4, Chappell 1-0 1, Jordan 1-0 1, Palmer 1-0 1, Purifoy 1-0 1, team 1-4 5), Hot Springs 8-15 23 (West 0-4 4, Campbell 2-1 3, Archie 2-1 3, Easter 1-1 2, Dolls 0-2 2, Rogers 0-1 1, Erby 0-1 1, Griffith 1-0 1, team 2-4 6). Team fouls:Bryant 15, Hot Springs 12.



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