Photos by Kevin Nagle
Closing the first half with a 7-2 run, the Bryant Lady Hornets freshmen pushed past the Conway Blue Lady Cats to take a 13-12 lead at intermission. But much to their frustration, the Lady Hornets were unable to score in the third quarter. Though the Lady Cats managed to gain the lead, it was stull just 16-13 going into the fourth quarter.
But Conway then scored the first 5 points of the final period and it proved too much for the Lady Hornets to overcome in a disappointing 26-16 loss.
The disappointment was underscored by the fact that Bryant had played so tough against two of the top teams in the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference, Lake Hamilton and North Little Rock, over the last week including a 30-point night at North Little Rock.
Though not as highly touted, Conway Blue did a good job of looking inside for a strong post player, Kyja Chatmon, who led all scorers with 14 points and led her team with seven rebounds.
The Lady Hornets just couldn’t find the bottom of the net in the second half when they were held to just 3 points. For the game, they were 7 of 27 from the field and 1 of 8 at the free-throw line and suffered 24 turnovers, though they out-rebounded the Lady Cats 33-21. Mary Catherine Selig had 10 boards. She and Kalia Walker finished with 5 points each. Rachel Studdard, Meagan Chism and Allie Dugan scored 2 points each.
Conway Blue scored first but Chism hit a layup off a feed from Lauren Burnett to tie it. Later Selig scored to knot it at 4. Chatmon scored to finish the quarter but, to start the second period, Allison Steen made a steal and fed Walker for a layup that had it even again at 6 with 5:32 left in the half. Chatmon hit a wild semi-jump-hook and another Lady Cats basket produced a 10-6 lead.
Dugan scored to start Bryant’s surge. After a timeout with 2:27 left in the half, the Lady Hornets forced a turnover and Selig hit the offensive boards for a basket to tie the game 10-10.
After a Conway Blue miss, Walker drained a 3 that had Bryant ahead 13-10. At the other end, Steen blocked a shot but, after an exchange of free throws, Chatmon followed her own miss to make it a 1-point game at the half.
The Lady Cats struggled to score nearly as much as the Lady Hornets in the third quarter. Chatmon had a basket and a teammate added a free throw midway through the period.
Two free throws by Chatmon opened the fourth quarter. Bryant had a chance to answer at the free-throw line but neither shot would fall. Steen made a steal but a turnover undermined the opportunity. Another couple of trips to the line for Chatmon pushed the lead to 21-13.
Another chance at the line for Bryant came up empty but, this time, Walker tracked down the rebound and, after a timeout, Studdard drilled a 12-footer and the Lady Hornets were within 6.
That turned out to be the lone field goal of the half for Bryant, however. Selig would add the lone free throw of the game with :29.8 left but it only interrupted the Lady Cats’ closing surge.
The Lady Hornets will try to snap a three-game skid in their next outing. They’ll play Mount St. Mary Academy at 5 p.m., on Thursday at Bryant Middle School gym.
LADY CATS 26, LADY HORNETS 16
Score by quarters
Conway Blue 6 6 4 9 — 26
BRYANT 4 9 0 3 — 16
LADY CATS 26
Roetzel 1-6 1-2 3, Pickens 1-6 0-0 2, Black 1-2 0-0 2, Wiseman 0-5 1-2 1, Chatmon 4-14 6-10 14, York 2-4 0-0 4, Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Robinson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 9-38 8-14 26.
LADY HORNETS 16
Walker 2-9 0-1 5, Studdard 1-2 0-0 2, Chism 1-7 0-0 2, Selig 2-6 1-4 5, Burnett 0-2 0-2 0, Steen 0-0 0-0 0, Lee 0-0 0-0 0, Dugan 1-1 0-1 2, Thompson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 7-27 1-8 16.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 1-2 (Walker 1-2), Conway Blue 0-6 (Roetzel 0-3, Wiseman 0-2, York 0-1). Turnovers: Bryant 24, Conway 13. Rebounds: Bryant 9-24 33 (Selig 3-7 10, Studdard 0-4 4, Chism 1-3 4, Burnett 2-2 4, Walker 1-1 2, Steen 0-2 2, Lee 0-1 1, Dugan 0-1 1, team 2-3 3), Conway Blue 6-15 21 (Chatmon 2-7 5, Roetzel 0-3 3, York 1-2 3, Wiseman 0-2 2, Pickens 1-1 2, Robinson 0-1 1, team 2-1 3). Team fouls: Bryant 14, Conway Blue 11. Fouled out: Bryant White, Steen.