Southside ekes out victory in defensive struggle with Lady Hornets

For more photos from this event by Kevin Nagle, go here

Lania Ratliff attacks the basket. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

The Bryant Lady Hornets’ defense forced 24 turnovers and held the Fort Smith Southside Lady Mavericks to 18 percent shooting from the field. But great defense has to be completed with rebounds of those missed shots — Southside had 33 misses and just seven made field goals Tuesday night.

Unfortunately, the Lady Mavs out-boarded the Lady Hornets 40-23 with 18 rebounds on the offensive end, resulted in one of the most disappointing losses of a season of them as Southside escaped with a 27-20 win, keeping their hopes alive for a bid to the Class 7A State Tournament with three games to go.

Southside was just as stingy as Bryant on defense, the Lady Hornets were 6 of 32 from the field — 19 percent.

Over the final 6:36, the Lady Hornets held the Lady Mavericks without a field goal. In fact, they kept them scoreless until just 30 seconds remained in the contest. The stretch was so frustrating for the Lady Hornets because they just couldn’t take full advantage of the Southside drought.

The last field goal of Southside was a 3-pointer by Hannah Rainwater that gave her team a 24-14 lead. With 6:05 left, Bryant sophomore Mary Catherine Selig was fouled. She hit her first shot and, though she missed the second, teammate Lania Ratliff got the rebound — one of just five for the Lady Hornets on the offensive end. A missed shot followed, however.

Kelly Williams gathers herself for a shot. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Bryant jumped into a trapping defense and forced Southside to take timeouts in rapid fashion at 4:05 and 3:44 left to avoid turnovers. When play resumed after the second stop, Bryant forced a turnover anyway.

With 3:13 left, Kalia Walker hit a jumper from just inside the 3-point line to trim the margin to 24-18.

After a Bryant timeout, Ratliff made a steal but Walker’s 3-point try rimmed out. The Lady Hornets forced a held ball and regained possession only to turn it over. Walker made a steal but, again, a turnover undermined the opportunity.

The Lady Mavericks handed the Lady Hornets a gift when, up 6 with around two minutes left, Montana Smith tried a 3-pointer and missed. Bryant senior Kendal Rogers raced to the other end but her contested layup came off the backboard and the iron.

Again, however, the Lady Hornets forced a turnover and, with 1:18 to go, Walker converted both ends of a one-and-one and the lead was down to 4.

Kalia Walker led the Lady Hornets with 7 points against Fort Smith Southside. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Another Southside turnover led to another Bryant turnover. The Lady Mavericks responded by spreading the floor and the Lady Hornets, who had committed just three team fouls in the half to that point, had to start fouling to get to the bonus.

Finally, with :30.3 showing, Carson went to the line and it worked out for Bryant as she missed the front end. But Rogers couldn’t get a shot to fall (and couldn’t get a foul call) and Carson was fouled again with :18.7 to go. This time, she knocked down both shots to make it 26-20.

After a Bryant timeout with :16.2 left, Riley Hill tried a 3 to no avail and one last free throw by Carson set the final score.

The game started in frustrating fashion for the Lady Hornets too as they failed to score in the first quarter. Southside built a 9-0 lead in those first eight minutes but then the Lady Mavericks couldn’t add on until there was just :08.6 showing in the clock. Emily Lockhart added two free throws.

The Lady Hornets got back into the game but not to the extent they would’ve liked. Walker hit a 3 to get them on the board at the 6:33 mark. Nearly two minutes later, she fed Raven Loveless for a basket inside. Kelly Williams followed up with a basket to make it 9-7 with 4:10 still to play in the quarter.

But the Lady Hornets were thwarted by the Lady Mavericks the rest of the half and held an 11-7 lead at the break.

A 3 by Riley Hill opened the scoring in the third quarter nearly two minutes in. Williams added a free throw with 4:39 left in the period, tying the score at 11.

Bryant had three chances to gain the upper hand at that point but couldn’t cash in. Two free throws by Southside’s Lynley Sharum snapped the tie but Selig fed Loveless for a basket inside to tie it again.

Smith countered with a 3, however, and it was 16-14 going into the fourth quarter. That’s when the Lady Mavericks got some separation as Loren Hernandez posted up for a bucket, Smith hit another 3 and Rainwater knocked down the trey that made it 24-14.

Bryant plays next at Cabot this Friday before closing out the season at home against North Little Rock then at Conway next week.


Score by quarter

FS Southside   9          2          5          11 — 27

BRYANT          0          7          7          6 — 20

LADY MAVERICKS (7-16, 3-8) 27

Carson 0-9 3-5 3, Lockhart 1-4 2-2 4, Rainwater 2-6 0-0 6, Hernandez 1-3 0-1 2, Sharum 1-6 4-4 6, Kleck 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 2-8 0-0 6, Schmidt 0-3 0-0 0, Sober 0-0 0-1 0, Rice 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 7-40 9-13 27.

LADY HORNETS (3-20, 0-11) 20

Ratliff 0-3 1-2 1, Hill 1-6 0-0 3, Selig 0-4 3-6 3, Walker 2-4 2-2 7, Rogers 0-8 0-0 0, Loveless 2-5 0-0 4, Williams 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 6-32 6-10 20.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 2-10 (Hill 1-6, Walker 1-2, Ratliff 0-1, Rogers 0-1), FS Southside 4-13 (Smith 2-7, Rainwater 2-4, Carson 0-2). Turnovers: Bryant 18, FS Southside 24. Rebounds: Bryant 5-18 23 (Rogers 1-5 6, Ratliff 1-4 5, Selig 2-2 4, Walker 0-3 3, Loveless 0-2 2, Hill 0-1 1, Williams 0-1, team 1-0 1), FS Southside 18-22 40 (Sharum 4-5 9, Rainwater 2-4 6, Hernandez 2-2 4, Carson 2-1 3, Rice 1-2 3, Lockhart 1-1 2, Schmidt 1-1 2, Sober 2-0 2, Kleck 0-1 1, Smith 0-1 1, team 3-4 7). Team fouls: Bryant 17, FS Southside 13. Fouled out: Bryant, Walker.

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