After getting his seventh-grade girls going by opening the game in a full-court man press, Bryant White Lady Hornets coach Ben Perry deployed his eighth grade team the same way against the Cabot North Lady Panthers on Tuesday night at the Bryant High School gym.
Though it wasn’t as effective as the seventh-grade team’s 8-0 start, the Lady Hornets forged an early lead on the way to a 36-18 win, bouncing back from a loss at Sylvan Hills on Monday night.
“I wanted to spark energy in the team and not let up on defense,” Perry said. “Their eighth grade team shoots well.
“Our press was a big part of the game,” he continued. “We caused 40 turnovers while only committing 15 the whole game. Although I am not happy with the turnovers being 15, it was a tremendous improvement as compared with the turnovers we committed against the past two teams we faced.”
The Lady Hornets extended the lead to 14-9 by halftime and, by the end of the third quarter, held a 30-16 advantage.
Kaitlyn Weng led the team with 16 points. Lauryn Taylor added 8 and Jaiyah Jackson 6. Sequoia Green, Krystyn Weng and Lexi Rose scored 2 points each.
“Besides the turnovers, the biggest difference maker was the strong post play by Lauryn, Lexi and (Rachel) Buck,” Perry said. “They contributed to a team total of 30 rebounds. Although (Cabot North) had 25 rebounds of their own.
“Cabot North had gotten much better from when I saw them play last,” he noted. “As I subbed in other players, Cabot would start coming back. They came within 2 points in the third quarter and then I called timeout, made some changes and we went on a surge.
“Our biggest problem in the game was free throws,” the coach said. “We shot 18 and made only four. That is a horrible outcome. They shot six free throws while making 1.”
The Lady Hornets improved to 6-3 with the victory heading into the holiday break. They’ll return to play at Sheridan on Jan. 3, 2017.
“I believe playing tougher teams has made this eighth grade team very tough and aggressive,” Perry related. “I am hoping to continue this type of play as we return after Christmas break.
“Sheridan is a well coached team and very disciplined in their defense and offense,” he said. “I wish the team didn’t have to go through a two-week lag but hopefully they will rest up and respond well.”