NORTH LITTLE ROCK — A rugged first quarter in which the Bryant White Lady Hornets eighth grade team fell behind the North Little Rock Gold Lady Charging Wildcats 14-2 proved to be too much to overcome on Thursday. Though the Lady Hornets rallied they wound up absorbing a 28-23 loss.
“Rough game and inconsistent,” said Lady Hornets coach Ben Perry. “We just can’t lose a quarter that badly and be able to come back enough against good teams like North Little Rock Gold.”
The Lady Hornet worked back into the game during the second quarter and trailed 17-9 at the half. It was 22-15 going into the fourth quarter.
Brilynn Findley scored 16 points to lead Bryant White. She was 4 of 7 at the free-throw line. Kristen Reese added 3 points. Locklan Berry and Emeril Jones scored 2 each.
“This was a game that was in a hostile environment and was played at a much higher physicality than previously played games,” Perry noted. “We got down early in the fourth quarter by fouling a 3-point made basket adding an and-1 free throw for 4 pts along with an and-1 field goal for 3 points.
“We won every quarter but the first and it just wasn’t enough,” he related. “We scored first but with the physical and aggressive play by North Little Rock and not taking care of ball, we struggled offensively and found ourselves in a hole 14 to 2. They couldn’t miss and we struggled to get to the basket.
“I tried to rally the team and encourage them to play through frustration and adversity,” the coach said. “They had to literally fight and scrape for everything they could get. We came back in the second quarter and, with a last-minute 3 that was counted a 2 by Locklan Berry we went into the half down 8 from 12.
In the locker, Perry recalled, “I told them to quit complaining about calls and respond with aggression and physical play. They knew they had a fight and if they wanted it they had to fight for it. They played as hard as they could, but we just didn’t take care of the ball enough to come back from being down 12 at the start.”
North Little Rock Gold ended up with a 24-20 edge on the boards but of the Lady Hornets 20, only three came at the offensive end, according to Perry. Bryant White finished with 25 turnovers to Gold’s 17.
“With that many turnovers it is hard to get things going well,” the coach said. “We just didn’t control the ball well. This was the most physical game we’ve played all year and I’m glad to see the girls didn’t shut down after being down 12. They responded as best as they could and I’m glad to see the fight.”
The team was set to play in a jamboree at North Little Rock on Saturday before hosting Benton on Monday.