Photos by Kevin Nagle
PEARCY — In the early moments of the third quarter, Kalia Walker drove the right side of the lane and made a sweet pass to teammate Allison Steen for a layup and the Bryant White Lady Hornets eighth grade team of Bryant Middle School was within 17-15 of the Lake Hamilton Lady Wolves eighth graders.
But over the next 3:42, Lake Hamilton’s pressing and trapping forced the Lady Hornets into a slew of turnovers fueling an 11-0 run. Though the Bryant team countered with a 9-0 stretch of its own to get back in the game, the Lady Hornets were never quite able to get even.
In the final seconds, there were able to cut it to 3 when Meagan Chism made a steal that led to a three-point play by Walker. Down 30-27, they fouled with :12 to go and when Lake Hamilton missed the front end of the one-and-one, Bryant White got the rebound. But, with a chance to tie the game with a 3-pointer, the Lady Hornets suffered another turnover and Lake Hamilton sealed the win with a free throw with :03 to go.
The 31-27 loss was just the second in six games this season for Bryant White, which is set to return to action tonight at Conway.
Steen finished with a team-high 11 points and five rebounds. Chism and Allie Dugan each had 5 points, Walker 3, Kristin Boyle 2 and Lexi Helton 1.
The Lady Hornets held Lake Hamilton without a field goal in the fourth quarter. The Lady Wolves made just 3 of 8 free throws. But Bryant White was 1 of 5 from the line during the final period and 5 of 12 for the game.
Lake Hamilton broke out to a 4-0 lead but, on baskets by Boyle and Steen, the Lady Hornets were within 5-4 at the first break. But they just couldn’t manage to grab a lead. They were within 8-7 then later at 14-13.
It was 14-9 when Helton went to the free-throw line with 1:29 left in the half. She hit the front end of the one-and-one then Dugan hustled after the offensive rebound. Though Helton missed a jumper, Steen came down with the carom and kicked out to Dugan who buried a 3 to make it a one-point game.
The Lady Hornets got two chances to take the lead. The first due to an illegal screen by the Lady Wolves but they missed a shot. Boyle then made a steal but Lake Hamilton forced a turnover in return and a free throw with :08.3 left made it 15-13 at the half.
The third-quarter drought ended and the Bryant White surge commenced when Chism fed Steen for a basket with :33 left. Off a Lake Hamilton turnover, Chism hit a pull-up jumper off a drive to cut it to 28-19 going into the final period.
To start the fourth quarter scoring, Chism knocked down a 3 and, moments later, fed Steen to cap the run, making it 28-24.
Both teams had multiple chances to change that score over the next 2:30 but it was Lake Hamilton that finally got it done with a pair of free throws at 1:59. Missed opportunities at the line on both ends kept it a 6-point margin until Chism’s steal and Walker’s three-point play cut it to 3.
Both teams finished with 18 turnovers. Lake Hamilton held a rebounding edge 18-15. Bryant White was 10 of 25 from the field.