Lady Hornets protect lead late to secure first victory
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
Finishing off victories — it was a challenge for the Bryant Lady Hornets basketball team a year ago, so it was very encouraging to head coach Blake Condley that the team was able to seal up their first one of 2007-08 on Friday, Nov. 16. In a game that they led by as much as 19 in the second half, the Lady Hornets secured a 58-48 victory over Sheridan even after the Lady Jackets had whittled the lead down to 8.
“We got some much-needed experience with a lead down the stretch,”Condley acknowledged. “We played with the lead and we’re trying to learn the things to do and not to do towards the end of the ball game.”
The Lady Hornets led 54-39 going into the final four minutes. Sheridan made a final push, sparked by a 3-pointer from Lacey Clary at the 3:04 mark. Moments later, senior Amber Westbrook took a nice inbounds pass from Alana Morris and scored inside to answer for Bryant but Clary’s stickback and a pair of free throws by Hannah Scott trimmed the lead to 56-46 with 1:34 to go.
The struggles of old seemed to crop up for Bryant at that point with turnovers on three consecutive possessions. Sheridan was unable to take advantage, however, against the Lady Hornets’ hustling defense until Scott drove for a layup with :50 left to trim the lead to 8, as close as the Lady Jackets had been since midway through the second quarter.
Taylor Hughes stepped up to hit a free throw to stem the tide a bit with :45.3 showing then the Lady Hornets forced a turnover and Hughes converted again to set the final score.
“This was just a good team win,” Condley declared. “We had three girls in double figures, everybody that played scored some points and that’s good. We spread it around.”
Indeed all nine players that got into the game added to the scoring with Morris, Brittany Mills and Hannah Goshien each producing 10 points. Haley Montgomery added 7 and Hughes 6.
Defensively, the Lady Hornets forced 34 Sheridan turnovers.
“Everybody contributed well on defense,” Condley said. “We played hard and got after it.”
Sheridan’s only lead of the game as it turned out was right off the bat when Scott, who wound up leading her team with 14 points, converted a three-point play. Mills canned a 3-point shot to tie it and when Morris pumped in a short jumper to make it 5-3, the Lady Hornets were ahead to stay.
Westbrook, who finished with a game-high seven rebounds, hit the offensive glass for a bucket then Anna Simpson scored on a nice give-and-go with Morris to make it 9-3. An 18-foot jumper by Goshien completed an 11-0 blitz.
Sheridan battled back, however, and got within 13-10 before Morris scored to make it 5-point game at the first break.
And that started another spree by the Lady Hornets, this time a 14-3 run. Katie Hartness hit a free throw for Sheridan to start the second period but Mills flushed another trey and, after a turnover, Montgomery scored to make it 20-11.
A free throw by Cecily Houston interrupted but free throws by Mills and Goshien got it going again. Morris fed Hughes for a layup and Goshien added another free throw to make it 25-12. Scott countered with a shot from the line but when Hughes drilled a jumper from the corner, Bryant’s lead was up to 27-13.
The Lady Hornets led 33-19 going into the fourth quarter with a three-point play by Montgomery that beat the buzzer. Jasmine Carter got the assist, finding her teammate behind the Sheridan press.
And when Morris made a steal and drove for a layup to start the scoring in the final period, the Lady Hornets had their largest lead at 38-19.
Sheridan, sparked by 3’s from Autumn James and Callie Griffith rallied to within 10 but could get no closer as Morris scored, Lindsey Cason added a pair of free throws and Montgomery drained a 3.
Bryant led 48-33 going into the final quarter.
The Lady Hornets were set to return to action on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at Benton.