Late push lifts NLR Gold past Bryant White Lady Hornets

For more photos of this event by Kevin Nagle, go here

Jayla Knight goes up for a shot inside. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

After trailing by 15 at half, the Bryant White Lady Hornets eighth-grade team of Bryant Middle School held the North Little Rock Gold Charging Wildcats eighth-graders to just two free throws in the third quarter. When Bryant White’s Saniyah Ellison scored off the offensive glass to start the fourth quarter, the Lady Hornets had whittled that margin to 5, 28-23.

But a banked in 3 by North Little Rock’s Dashara Smith turned the tide. The Lady Cats closed the game on a 12-3 run to escape with a 40-26 victory at the Bryant Middle School gym.

Smith came off the bench to score a game-high 13 points. Ashlyn Kimble had 12 for the Lady Cats.

The Lady Hornets’ top scorer finished with 6 points. Brooklyn Welch scored those off the bench as well. Lauren Lain added 5. Kylee Fleharty and Lyniyae Johnson added 4 each with Johnson claiming a game-high nine rebounds.

Jayla Knight finished with 3 points. Saniyah Ellison scored 2 with Haya Winfield and Kiniyah Horton adding a free throw apiece.

“I am more proud of how they played tonight than how they played on Tuesday (at Benton),” said Lady Hornets coach Ben Perry. “I thought the effort was high. They never gave up. They didn’t really get down on themselves, even when they were behind.

Lyniyae Johnson (24) tries to drive around a North Little Rock Gold defender. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

“I think they played real well,” he continued. “They’re growing every game. I love that, that they’re growing each game. Some of the basketball knowledge is coming.”

Bryant White is 1-3 this season going into a trip to Sheridan on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

The Lady Hornets finished with a 33-28 rebounding advantage, but the Lady Cats forced them into 33 turnovers in the game, 22 of those in the first half when they fell behind.

North Little Rock scored the first 8 points of the game before Fleharty grabbed the carom off a teammate’s miss and scored.

The Lady Cats managed a trio of three-point plays in the first quarter. That went with a 3-point basket popped by Aaliyah Smith. The advantage was 13-2 before Lain came through with a three-point play off an offensive rebound with :01.1 left in the quarter.

Bryant was 6 of 16 from the free-throw line in the game, just 2 of 8 during the second quarter.

“We tried to keep them in front of us, but North Little Rock is so quick with their hands, you put the ball anywhere in front of them, they’re going to steal it,” Perry noted. “We made a lot of turnovers that were our fault.”

Bryant White’s only field goals of the second quarter were a driving jumper by Welch and a stick-back by Johnson that cut a 17-5 lead into a 17-9 game with 4:21 left in the half.

Bryant White Lady Hornets coach Ben Perry instructs guard Kylee Fleharty during a break in the action. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Unfortunately, the Lady Hornets only added a pair of free throws the rest of the half and that was in eight chances at the stripe.

The result was a 26-11 edge for North Little Rock Gold at the break.

Bryant White came out in the second half and changed the defense from man-to-man to a zone. And it helped.

“We had to switch it up a little bit into zone to slow the game down a little,” Perry acknowledged. “They had a hard time scoring against our half-court defense. We really started picking it up.”

The rally commenced with a corner jumper by Fleharty. Winfield added a free throw then Welch scored off of an offensive rebound.

Jasmine Rosage hit a free throw for North Little Rock but when Lain followed up a free throw by Johnson with an offensive-rebound basket, the lead was under 10 at 27-19.

Rosage made another free throw before Welch drove for a bucket to make it 28-21 going the fourth quarter. With Ellison’s bucket, the Lady Hornets were within 5 points.

The only Bryant scoring in the final five minutes of the game was a basket by Knight and, later, a free throw by Horton.

Smith hit another 3 along the way and the Lady Hornets were never able to get the margin whittled down to that level later.

“North Little Rock’s just a great team,” Perry said.


Score by quraters

North Little Rock         13        13        2          12 — 40

BRYANT WHITE           5          6          10        5 — 26


Kimble 4-9 4-8 12, Wilson 0-9 0-0 0, A.Smith 1-5 1-2 4, Gates 1-5 1-2 3, Moore 1-4 0-1 2, Calhoun 0-0 0-0 0, Rosage 2-3 2-6 6, D.Smith 5-9 0-0 13, Henderson 0-0 0-0 0, Kaur 0-0 0-0 0. Totals14-44 8-19 40.


Fleharty 2-7 0-0 4, Knight 1-4 1-4 3, Lain 1-4 2-4 4, Winfield 0-2 1-4 1, Ellison 1-3 0-0 2, Welch 3-4 0-0 6, Danzy 0-0 0-0 0, Horton 0-0 1-3 1, Briones 0-0 0-0 0, Corvin 0-0 0-0 0, DelCastilo 0-0 0-0 0, Lester 0-1 0-0 0. Totals10-31 6-16 26.

Three-point field goals:Bryant White 0-1 (Knight 0-1), North Little Rock Gold 4-9 (D.Smith 3-4, A.Smith 1-1, Kimble 0-2, Wilson 0-1, Gates 0-1). Turnovers:Bryant White 33, North Little Rock Gold 24. Rebounds:Bryant White 14-19 33 (Johnson 3-6 9, Lain 2-4 6, Winfield 3-2 5, Ellison 3-2 5, Fleharty 1-1 2, Welch 1-1 2, Knight 1-0 1, Briones 0-1 1, Team 0-2 2), North Little Rock Gold 17-11 28 (Moore 5-3 8, Rosage 3-1 4, D.Smith 2-1 3, Kimble 2-0 2, Wilson 0-2 2, Gates 1-1 2, Calhoun 0-2 2, A.Smith 0-1 1, team 4-0 4. Team fouls:Bryant White 17, North Little Rock Gold 18.

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