Photos by Kevin Nagle
Sparked by their defense, the Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team went on an 8-0 run in the third quarter that turned an 11-8 deficit into a 16-11 lead. But the basket by Mary Catherine Selig off a nice feed from Lauren Burnett that completed that spurt with 1:31 left in the stanza wound up being the last field goal of the game of the Lady Hornets.
Though that defense and a free throw by Selig kept them in the lead until the 3:51 mark of the fourth quarter. The Benton Lady Panthers freshmen evened it up then closed out the game with a flourish to claim a 24-17 win.
Already stinging from a one-point loss to Hot Springs to open the Bryant Invitational Tournament on Monday, the Lady Hornets, now 1-2, will have to wait until Monday, Nov. 23, to bounce back. That’s when they host Cabot White.
Benton continues in the tournament with a consolation bracket game against Conway White on Thursday at 5 p.m.
Benton led 5-2 at the end of the first quarter. Allie Dugan accounted for the only basket of the period for the Lady Hornets. But when Burnett hit the offensive glass and scored to start the second quarter, it was a 1-point game.
The Lady Hornets were just not able to gain the upper hand, however, and Benton led 10-6 at the half.
Selig scored to open the third quarter and had a chance to make it a three-point play but couldn’t get the free throw to fall.
Free-throw shooting was a problem for both teams. Benton converted 5 of 14 in the game but it was a rougher night for the Lady Hornets who went 1 for 10 at the stripe.
After two more misses at the line for Bryant, Benton converted one to extend the lead to 11-8.
But that’s when the Lady Hornets got it going. Selig hit a driving jumper and Meagan Chism made a steal and layup. Suddenly, Bryant had its first lead, 12-11, with 2:48 left in the quarter.
Chism combined with Kalia Walker to force a turnover and, again, Chism cashed it in with a layup at the other end. Benton called timeout with 2:06 left though it didn’t stem the tide right away.
Alyssa Thompson made a steal for the Lady Hornets but Benton forced a turnover. Another Lady Panthers turnover followed and this time, Burnett fed Selig for the bucket that made it 16-11.
But Benton hit a 3 at the buzzer ending the quarter, pulling within 2.
Selig made it 17-14 with a free throw with 5 minutes left in the game but that was the last of Bryant’s scoring. Benton finished with a 10-0 run and ran out the last :55.7 of the game, preserving the 24-17 lead.