Late run lifts Bryant White girls past Bryant Blue in seventh grade game

By Rob Patrick

Much of the time, it was a mad defensive scramble when the Bryant Blue Lady Hornets seventh grade team of Bethel Middle School hosted the Bryant White Lady Hornets seventh graders of Bryant Middle School Tuesday night.

As it turned out the game came down to the final three minutes when the visitors finished with a 6-1 surge to produce a 21-16 win.[more]

Bryant White had several chances to take the lead at the free-throw line early in the fourth quarter after Jayla Anderson scored to tie it 15-15 with 4:31 to go but an 0 for 6 stretch at the line kept it deadlocked. Bryant Blue, meanwhile, just couldn’t get a shot to fall. Both teams were forcing turnovers with White’s Destin Huffman causing particular disruption with four steals.

As the game approached the three-minute mark, Huffman made a steal only to have Blue’s Alyssa Sturgeon swipe the ball back only to miss her shot at the other end. Miranda Lawrence rebounded for White but Blue forced a turnover to get another shot at snapping the tie. Nikki Clay’s shot, however, refused to fall.

At the other end, Lawrence grabbed the rebound off a miss by teammate Katie Davidson and scored to put her team ahead to stay.

Moments later, Anderson made a steal and was fouled. Though he second free throw was wiped out by a lane violation, she hit one to bump the lead to 18-15.

On that play, Blue lost Sturgeon, who led her team with 7 points in the game.

Anderson and Huffman followed up by forcing a turnover and, with 1:13 to go, Huffman hit a left-handed layup as she was fouled to make it 19-15.

Her missed free throw was rebounded by Davidson who missed her follow only to have Anderson grab the carom. Though she misfired too, Davidson was there again to grab the rebound and, this time, put it back in to give White it’s largest lead of the game 21-15.

In the late going, Rylee Phillips hit a free throw for Blue but that’s all that could be managed as White held on for the win.

Davidson led all scorers with 8 points to go with a 11 rebounds. Anderson finished with 6 points and seven rebounds and Lawrence added 2 points and six boards. Huffman finished with 3 points and Taylor Lindberg 2 for White.

For Blue, Clay finished with 4 points. Isabella Blummel added 2 and Phillips 1. Another basket was accidentally put in by a player from the White team.

“We really hit the boards hard,” commented White coach DeAnna Ward. “The girls hustled after every ball. We still had way too many turnovers. My guards are super fast and sometimes they move faster than they can handle the ball. They will get better with experience.”

“Our seventh graders played really hard and are really starting to show improvement and progress,” stated Blue coach Rhonda Hall. “That’s the main thing you hope for in a seventh grade team, to see them enjoy the game, play hard and continue to improve.”

It took a little while for either team to get into a flow offensively against the aggressive defenses they faced. With three minutes left in the first quarter, Clay hit a free throw to break the ice. Things got going in the final minute of the period. Blummel hit a jumper in the lane to give Blue a 3-0 lead but Davidson answered for White off a feed from Anderson. After a Blue turnover, Anderson scored to make it 4-3 going into the second period.

Sturgeon’s first bucket on a short jumper put Blue back on top and, after a White turnover, Clay made it 7-4.

White eventually tied it on a basket by Lindberg and a free throw by Huffman but Sturgeon snapped the tie with a 12-footer. Clay added a free throw before Davidson beat the buzzer at the half with a stickback to make it 10-9, Blue, at the break.

Blue then scored the first 5 points of the second half to build its largest lead of the game. Sturgeon scored inside and added a free throw later. The accidental basket made it 15-9.

But Blue went on a long scoring drought after that as White ratcheted up the defense.

Anderson made a steal and followed her own miss then Davidson hit two free throws to get White within 15-13 going into the final period.

Both teams return to action on Tuesday, Dec. 8. White plays at home against Cabot South while Blue travels to play at Cabot North.

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