Lady Hornets subdued by defending State runner-up, tourney host

FORT SMITH — Twenty-one was a critical number in the opening round game between the[more] Bryant Lady Hornets and the Fort Smith Northside Lady Grizzlies at the 2011 Tournament of Champions at Northside High School Thursday night.

Northside finished the game with 21 offensive rebounds. Bryant finished with 21 turnovers. And a 21-point second quarter put the Lady Griz in control on the way to a 58-30 victory.

The loss was just the second of the year for the Lady Hornets in seven games. They are set to play Ozark, Mo., in the consolation bracket today at 4 p.m. Ozark lost on Thursday to Midwest City, Okla., 43-37.

In other first-round action, Fort Smith Southside defeated Russellville, 50-41, and Little Rock Parkview beat Liberty-Eylau, Texas, 60-50.
Bryant will play either Russellville or Liberty-Eylau on Saturday to complete the tourney.

“We let Northside do what they would do well,” commented Bryant head coach Brad Matthews. “They rebound really well. They hurt us with offensive rebounds then we turned it over some and they were able to get out in transition. We just gave up a lot of easy baskets.

“On top of that, we didn’t shoot well,” he added. “That’s just a very bad combination, to give up a lot of easy baskets and to shoot a very low percentage. A lot of the night, we got good looks. The kids that need to be shooting were shooting and we just didn’t make shots.

“(Northside) is really good,” the coach mentioned. “They’ve got a great program. I wish we had played our best. But it was one of those nights.”

The Lady Bears were 27-4 last season and lost the Class 7A State championship to Fayetteville in double overtime.

The Lady Hornets were 10 of 36 from the field (28 percent) and just 10 of 20 at the free-throw line Thursday night. Northside finished with a 37-27 rebounding advantage.

Bria Caldwell led the Lady Bears with 13 points. Olivia Hanson finished with 11. Kilah Cummings finished with 9 points and seven rebounds.

For Bryant, Dezerea Duckworth scored 9 points, Kiara Moore had 8, Taneasha Rhode 5 to go with nine boards. Logan Davis contributed 4 points. Courtney Davidson and Brittney Ball added 2 points each.

Northside held a 14-6 lead after a quarter. The big second quarter produced a 35-16 halftime advantage. It was 47-25 going into the fourth quarter.

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