Late first-half spurt enough for NLR against Lady Hornets freshmen

NORTH LITTLE ROCK — With 3:30 left in the first half, the Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team was even with the North Little Rock Lady Charging Wildcats freshmen, 12-12. But, after that, the Lady Cats went on a 10-0 run to end the half then added three free throws to start the third quarter to make it 25-12.

That was the difference in the game on Thursday night. The rest of the time, the Lady Hornets played North Little Rock even. Bryant fell 37-26.

“That put us in a hole and we could never quite climb out of it,” acknowledged Lady Hornets coach Nathan Castaldi.

The loss evened Bryant’s record at 8-8 overall and 3-3 in the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference. They came into the game with a chance to pull into a three-way tie for third in the league with North Little Rock and Lake Hamilton behind Conway Blue (5-0) and Conway White (4-1).

With the win, North Little Rock pulled even with Conway White for second.

Parris Atkins layup off a steal with 3:47 left in that second quarter tied the game. From that point on, Atkins was held scoreless, finishing with the 9 points she had produced by then. She finished with 10 rebounds, all on the defensive end.

Jordan Hancock scored all 11 of her points in the second half to keep the Lady Hornets within hailing distance. Daria Greer and Caitlin LaCerra finished with 3 each.

“I thought we did okay executing some things for other players,” said Castaldi, regarding the defensive emphasis on Atkins. “I thought Jordan did a good job of stepping up, being aggressive, attacking the rim, not just settling for threes. Daria was in foul trouble and that kind of hurt her, got her out of her rhythm and out of her flow. That really put her behind.”

Neither team shot particularly well but the Lady Hornets missed some layups that hurt.

“We’ve got to execute what we want to do,” Castaldi asserted. “We did that in spurts, but we’ve got to finish those shots. Obviously, we’re not going to make every shot but those gimmee’s, those two-footers, uncontested, we’ve got to finish those. We did a little better tonight, but we still had some of those. In close ballgames, those are big.”

Atkins had gone on a 7-point spree in the first half after the Lady Hornets fell behind 4-0. North Little Rock led 8-7 at the end of the opening period.

With the first two baskets of the second quarter, the Lady Cats pushed the lead to 5 only to have Hancock drill a 3 and Atkins make the steal and layup that tied it.

Bryant rebounded with North Little Rock, coming up short by three boards (26 to 29) but 11 of the Lady Cats’ rebounds came at the offensive end, including two stick-backs during the tell-tale 13-0 run.

LaCerra broke Bryant’s drought with a 3 off a feed from Atkins with 4:22 left in the third quarter. Hancock drove for a basket to make it 25-17. Northe Little Rock, however, held a 30-19 advantage going into the fourth quarter.

It was 32-19 when Greer went to the line with 4:09 left in the game. She converted once and, moments later, fouled out.

Hancock then scored the final 6 points for the Lady Hornets but North Little Rock maintained the lead.

LADY CHARGING WILDCATS 37, LADY HORNETS 26

Freshman

Score by quarters

BRYANT           7          5          7          7 — 26

No.Little Rock8          14        8          7 — 37

LADY HORNETS 26

Hancock 4-9 1-4 11, Greer 1-4 1-2 3, LaCerra 1-5 0-0 3, Atkins 2-7 5-7 9, Chappell 0-0 0-0 0, Dillon 0-1 0-0 0, Jordan 0-4 0-0 0. Totals:8-30 (27%) 7-13 (54%) 26.

LADY CHARGING WILDCATS 37

Morgan 3-7 3-5 9, Crudup 1-9 5-8 7, Vick 1-2 1-2 4, Edwards 2-6 1-2 5, Harris 3-8 0-0 6, Brown 1-3 0-1 2, Rice 1-2 0-0 2, Ceriah 1-1 0-0 2, Jocelyn 0-0 0-0 0. Totals:13-38 (34%) 10-18 (56%) 37.

Three-point field goals:Brytant 3-8 (Hancock 2-2, LaCerra 1-4, Atkins 0-1, Jordan 0-1), North Little Rock 1-8 (Vick 1-1, Morgan 0-4, Crudup 0-2, Edwards 0-2). Turnovers:Bryant 16, North Little Rock 11. Rebounds:Bryant 5-21 26 (Atkins 0-10 10, LaCerra 1-3 4, Hancock 0-2 2, Dillon 0-2 2, Greer 0-1 1, Chappell 1-0 1, team 3-3 6), North Little Rock 11-19 29 (Harris 4-4 8, Edwards 1-4 5, Morgan 1-3 4, Vick 0-3 3, Crudup 1-2 3, Brown 2-1 3, Rice 1-0 1, team 1-2). Team fouls:Bryant 17, North Little Rock 12. Fouled out:Bryant, Greer.



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