Late drought undermines Bryant Blue defensive effort

Photos by Kevin Nagle

Saffron Purdom (11) fires a shot. (photo by Kevin Nagle)

BENTON — It may have taken a little while for the Bryant Blue Lady Hornets eighth grade team of Bryant Junior High to get the offense going but, defensively, they were causing the rival Benton Lady Panthers all kinds of trouble.

The Lady Hornets forced 26 turnovers and overcame an early 5-0 deficit to take the Lady Panthers to the wire only to come up short, 28-23, to close out the 2019-20 season on Thursday night at Panther Arena.

Jayden Miller and Mackinsie Matson got going offensively and combined for 18 points. They had the Lady Hornets within 22-21 early in the fourth quarter.

But the ending was too much like the beginning. Over the last five minutes of the game, the Lady Hornets were shutout. They had chances at the free-throw line in the last two minutes but converted just 2 of 4 shots from the stripe.

Miller finished with 10 points and Matson 8. Alyson White scored 3 and Sophia Cimino 2 for Bryant Blue.

Sophia Cimino (33) battles Benton’s Brynnlee Barbarie for a rebound. (photo by Kevin Nagle)

Benton was paced by Brynnlee Barbaree who had 14 points. Diamond Parham scored 5.

The Lady Panthers out-rebounded the Lady Hornets 33-19 including 19 boards on the offensive end.

Cimino’s 12-foot jumper early in the second quarter got the Lady Hornets on the board initially. 

After Parham hit a free throw, Matson popped a 3 to make it 6-5.

La’Riah Hawkins countered for Benton and, after White hit a free throw, Hope Sheridan gave Benton an 11-6 lead with a triple.

But the Lady Hornets closed the half with a flourish. Matson and Miler each hit 3’s and, after a Lady Panther turnover with :07 left, Matson beat the buzzer to give Bryant Blue a 14-11 lead at the half.

It was 16-13 early in the third quarter when Benton put together a 7-0 surge. A 3 by Miller in the final seconds of the period had the Lady Hornets within a point.

Alyson White (53) shoots over Benton’s Diamond Parham (30). (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Parham hit two free throws then White scored on a 15-footer to make it 22-21. 

But that’s when the Lady Hornets hit their dry spell.

LADY PANTHERS 28, LADY HORNETS 23

Eighth grade

Score by quarters

Bryant Blue     0          14        5          4 — 23

Benton            4          7          9          8 — 28

LADY HORNETS 23

Matson 3-5 0-0 8, Cimino 1-3 0-0 2, Bradford 0-0 0-0 0, Miller 3-12 2-4 10, Whjite 1-5 1-2 3, Purdom 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 8-32 3-6 23.

LADY PANTHERS 28

Sheridan 1-3 0-0 3, Greer 1-9 0-0 2, Hawkins 1-3 0-0 2, Barbaree 5-10 4-6 14, Pallette 1-8 0-0 2, Barger 0-2 0-0 0, Parham 1-1 3-4 5. Totals 10-36 7-10 28.

Three-point field goals: Bryant Blue 4-14 (Miller 2-8, Matson 2-6), Benton 1-6 (Sheridan 1-1, Greer 0-4, Pallette 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant Blue 22, Benton 26. Rebounds: Bryant Blue 11-8 19 (Miller 4-2 6, Matson 2-2 4, White 0-3 3, Cimino 2-20 2, Purdom 1-0 1), Benton 19-14 33 (Barbaree 7-1 8, Greer 2-3 5, Hawkins 3-2 5, Pallette 3-2 5, Parham 2-3 5, Barger 1-1 2, Sheridan 0-1 1, team 1-1 2). Team fouls: Bryant Blue 11, Benton 7.



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