Behind 27 points from Austyn Oholendt, the Bryant White Lady Hornets earned their first win of the 2020-21 season, 42-33 over the Hot Springs Lakeside Lady Rams in an eighth-grade game on Thursday night at Bryant Junior High.
Oholendt connected on four 3-pointers and all three of her free throws, while the Lady Hornets forced 26 turnovers including 15 steals that turned into 24 ponts.
“They played tough and I am so proud of them,” said Lady Hornets coach Ben Perry. “They are learning more and more every week and are improving their play every week.”
Aniston Sweet scored 6 points, Brailey Kellum 4. Kayla Martin and Jynnifer Neal added 2 apiece and Nia Sims hit a free throw.
The Lady Hornets finished with a 26-20 rebound advantage.
Bryant White rushed to a 15-6 lead by the end of the first quarter.
“We started off strong with our tough man defense and quick hands,” Perry related. “We blocked out better than last game and we were more aggressive. We ran our offense a little better than our first game, which opened up some lanes and open shots for us.
“We need to watch our positioning on defense in relation to the ball and not allow ourselves to overextend ourselves allowing back cuts,” he continued. “However, overall I was happy with the grit and aggressiveness of how we played. We wanted to set the tone and play our game and I feel we did that.”
At halftime, the Lady Hornets held a 24-10 lead. It was 31-15 going into the fourth quarter.
“The girls have adjusted well to playing man defense and learning more about the game and not just playing,” Perry noted. “In the second half we secured an 18-point lead and I was able to clear the bench and allow girls to play through adversity as a press ensued. They played through and, although Lakeside was able to make some points in the fourth quarter, we were able to sustain our lead and allow girls much needed playing time to learn how to overcome situations and grow.
“It was a good win for the team to end the week on,” he added. “They played more as a unit. Austyn was able to hit some great shots and made some great passes to her teammates which allowed for more people to score. Madison Loggins controlled the boards with 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. Aniston Sweet also had 3 steals which led to two layups and points for her.
“Everyone pitched in and everyone played tough,” the coach said.
Bryant White is scheduled to play at Bryant Blue on Thursday, Nov. 19.