Lady Panthers have no answer for defense of Lady Hornet freshmen

You know if a basketball team has more turnovers than points, the result is not going to be good.

That’s where the Cabot South Lady Panthers freshman team found themselves in the first quarter and in the game against the Bryant Lady Hornets freshman Tuesday night at the Bryant Middle School gym.

In a Central Arkansas Junior High Conference battle originally set for Dec. 15 but moved due to semester testing in Cabot, the Lady Hornets forced eight turnovers in the first quarter on the way to piling up a 17-6 lead, and 24 in the game on the way to the 42-18 victory.

Now 12-2 overall, the Lady Hornets have won six in a row after a two-game hiccup in early December against North Little Rock and Conway Blue, two teams they’ll play again late this month. They’re 6-2 in league play.

Against Cabot South, Bryant was sparked by Tierra Trotter who scored 10 of her game-high 15 points in the first quarter including a pair of 3’s.

“It’s always good to start fast,” said Lady Hornets coach Nathan Castaldi. “Defensively, we did that. We really wanted to speed them up. We were a little under-sized tonight, dealing with some injuries so we wanted to use our quickness to our advantage. We were definitely able to do that the first quarter.”

Bryant was without McKenzie Muse and Mekeycia Baker due to nagging injuries. Both should be back soon.

Ivory Russ finished with 7 points for Bryant. Celena Martin and Lexi Taylor added 6 each and Tiyanna Robinson 4.

Trotter’s outside shooting as well as Lexi Taylor’s pair of treys kept the Lady Panthers from packing their zone quite as much.

“She really shot it well today,” Castaldi said of Trotter. “She shot it well over the break. Some of them rimmed in and out. They all looked good.

“When she shoots the ball well, teams have a hard time packing it in against us,” he acknowledged. “It opens stuff up, gives Celena and Ivory some lanes to attack, Taco (Robinson) too.

“We’re doing a better job attacking those gaps under control and, when the defense sinks in, making that kick-out pass, finding our teammate in the soft spot, things like that, rather than going one on three or one on four,” the coach explained.

Cabot South’s lone lead was 2-0 on a basket by Lexi Griebel, one of three Lady Panthers who finished with 4 points in the game.

Martin tied it by scoring off an offensive rebound. (Seventeen of Bryant’s 25 rebounds were on the offensive end.) She followed up with a steal but the Lady Hornets turned it back over to Cabot South.

Tierra Trotter, however, swiped the ball and, off a feed from Russ, drilled a baseline jumper to put the Lady Hornets head for good.

Trotter made another theft and missed a contested layup but Robinson grabbed the carom and it eventually led to Trotter’s first 3, making it 7-2.

Robinson made a steal and, though she couldn’t get her shot to go, she hustled to chase down the carom and got it to Russ, who attacked the basket and got to the line. Her free throw made it a 6-point lead.

A bucket from the corner by Maggie Gibson interrupted Bryant’s run. Martin drove for a basket to start it up again. After a Cabot timeout, Martin swiped the ball and missed only to have Trotter there to follow with a basket.

After Carson Coleman scored for the Lady Panthers, Russ drove for a bucket and the Lady Hornets forced a five-second call on the inbounds play. Russ was fouled on the way to the hoop but her free throws refused to go down. Robinson, however, grabbed the rebound and, with :02 on the clock, Trotter capped the quarter with her second 3.

She then added her third one of the game to start the scoring in the second period to make it 20-6.

Griebel converted two free throws but Taylor canned her first triple. Martin drove for a basket and, after a Robinson steal, Russ hit a driving layup as the margin expanded to 27-8.

Jade Deaton added a hoop in the final two minutes of the half as the Lady Hornets took a 29-12 lead into the locker room.

Cabot South did not score in the third quarter and the margin increased to 40-12. Taylor hit her second 3 to start the scoring in the half. Trotter had a layup and Russ followed with a three-point play. Robinson added a basket at the end of the quarter.

Castaldi got everyone in during the fourth quarter. Maddie Scifres who played much of the second half, had a layup for Bryant’s only basket of the final period.


Score by quarters

Cabot South   6          6          0          6 — 18

BRYANT          17       12       11       2 — 42


Gibson 2-2 0-0 4, French 0-2 0-0 0, Griebel 1-3 2-2 4, Coleman 1-8 0-0 2, McDonald 2-5 0-0 4, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Belin 1-1 0-0 2, Stokes 0-1 0-0 0, Clark 1-6 0-0 2, Scott 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 8-38 2-2 18.


T.Trotter 6-13 0-0 15, Oholendt 0-0 0-0 0, Martin 3-6 0-0 6, Robinson 2-8 0-2 4, Russ 2-6 3-9 7, Taylor 2-4 0-0 6, Deaton 1-4 0-0 2, Scott 0-0 0-0 0, S.Trotter 0-0 0-0 0, Scifres 1-1 0-0 2, Harlee 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Rogers 0-1 0-0 0, Allen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-44 3-11 42.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 5-12 (T.Trotter 3-5, Taylor 2-4, Robinson 0-2), Cabot South 0-5 (French 0-2, Clark 0-2, Stokes 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 10, Cabot South 23. Rebounds: Bryant 17-8 25 (Robinson 6-1 7, Russ 4-1 5, T.Trotter 2-1 3, Martin 1-2 3, Taylor 2-0 2, Oholendt 1-0 1, Deaton 1-0 1, S.Trotter 0-1 1, Scifres 0-1 1, Allen 0-1 1), Cabot South 12-13 25 (Coleman 5-5 10, McDonald 3-0 3, Griebel 2-1 3, Gibson 0-2 2, Jones 0-2 2, Clark 1-0 1, team 1-3 4). Team fouls: Bryant 8, Cabot South 10.

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