November 17 in Bryant athletic history: 1998

Lady Hornets impress in 64-43 romp at Cabot

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, will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).



CABOT — Ashley Wallis finally got to play an official game as a Bryant Lady Hornet Tuesday night.

Though she had been slated to start at point guard for the Lady Hornets a year ago as a sophomore, Wallis wound up having to wait a year to play in a game for her high school. A severe knee injury she suffered in a preseason scrimmage — the first of a slew of such things last year — ended her sophomore season before it really began.

So, she had to wait and rehabilitate. After returning to the floor during the summer for her AAU team, Wallis, now a junior, finally got to don her school colors again Tuesday. And she made the most of the opportunity by scoring 20 points to lead the Lady Hornets to an impressive 64-43 win over the Cabot Lady Panthers.

Cabot, a perennial State Tournament team from the AAAAA-East, was held to just 21 percent shooting in the first three quarters of the game as Bryant blew the game open. Spurred by a 25-point first quarter, the Lady Hornets built as much as a 35-point lead in the third period.

Post players Bekka Middleton (15 points, 7 boards) and Kim Jacuzzi combined for 27 points and 11 rebounds for Bryant.

“I was pleased with our effort,” stated Lady Hornets’ head coach Carla Crowder. “I thought we played hard and we played real, real well together. I thought everybody did their share. I think we’ve got to hit the boards harder, but everything else I was well pleased.”

Actually, the Lady Hornets didn’t do too badly on the boards, out-rebounding the taller Lady Panthers 44-27.

The Lady Hornets didn’t need their fullcourt press for long, but it proved effective when they did use it. After the game was tied at 4, the Lady Hornets kicked into gear and reeled off a 20-2 run.

Middleton, before sitting down with two fouls, rang up 12 points in the first quarter including a stickback with :44 left that completed the game-breaking surge.

Cabot was led by Arkansas Tech University signee Amy White who had 9 points. Despite their size advantage, the Lady Panthers lived and died on their perimeter shooting especially after the Lady Hornets eviscerated their press early in the game. And they were cold.

In fact, Cabot, after hitting a basket off the opening tip, didn’t manage its second field goal until White hit a driving jumper with :12 left in the first quarter. By that time, Bryant had built a 24-6 lead.

Lindsey Menard canned a 3-pointer to start the second-quarter scoring for Bryant, upping the lead to 20 for the first time.

Cabot whittled it to 30-13 then Wallis’ slashing drive to the hoop started a 12-0 blitz to finish out the half. That gave Bryant a commanding 42-13 lead.

Middleton quickly picked up her third foul as the second half unfolded, but Jacuzzi came on to pick up some of the slack, scoring 8 of her 12 points after the break. It was 50-17 after Jacuzzi converted a pair of free throws with 5:11 left in the third quarter.

Bryant began to sub more but the defense stayed solid. Neither team scored until Middleton returned, picked up a loose ball and hit a turnaround jumper with 2:50 left in the period to give the Lady Hornets their largest lead at 52-17.

The lead was never less than 21 after that and only a 14-1 run at the end of the game allowed the Lady Panthers to get that close.

The Lady Hornets return to action this Friday with their home opener against Arkadelphia.

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