By Rob Patrick
The Bryant track teams compete in the 7A-Central Conference meet today at[more] Conway with the Lady Hornets vying for top honors with Cabot and Conway and the Hornets hoping to send out a healthy team to make a push for a high finish.
The league meet is one of a full slate of competitions involving all of the spring sports today.
The Lady Hornets, led by sophomores Alexis Royal and Hannah Raney along with juniors Brianna White and Stacy Emmerling, are coming off a team title at the Wampus Cat Relays in Conway. Cabot, short-handed that day, took top honors at its own meet, the Panther Relays earlier in the season.
The Hornets, led by seniors Troy Smith, Luke Lindsley and Tanner Tolbert, along with junior Dillon Winfrey, finished sixth in a field of 25 teams at Conway despite a slew of nagging injuries.
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Nine games in 13 days including seven in 7A/6A-Central Conference play — that’s what the Bryant Lady Hornets softball team faces over the final two weeks of the regular season starting this evening with a home game against the Russellville Lady Cyclones.
The Lady Hornets regained the league lead when Russellville defeated North Little Rock twice last night. North Little Rock came into that twinbill with a one-game lead in the conference based on its 2-1 win over Bryant on April 14. Bryant and North Little Rock play again on May 9.
By the way, April 14 was the last time the Lady Hornets have played a game. The rainy weather has created a two-week layoff going into tonight’s contest.
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The Bryant soccer teams have a heavy schedule over the next week as well starting with a trip to Russellville this evening. Mount St. Mary Academy and Little Rock Catholic come to town on Friday then Monday, they make the long trip to Van Buren. The next day, they travel to Conway.
The Lady Hornets are coming off a gut-wrenching loss to Little Rock Central that went to penalty kicks in a shootout after the two teams finished regulation 0-0. Central won the shootout and gained the edge in the standings, taking over second place by itself.
The Lady Hornets defeated Russellville 4-0 at home. With another win and if league-leading Conway knocks off Central, the Lady Hornets will move back into a tie for second with the Lady Tigers.
Bryant’s girls have the tiebreaker over Central, having won 3-0 earlier in the season.
Russellville is two games ahead of the Hornets in the boys league standings. Bryant, at 4-4, is in a virtual tie for fourth with Conway and Cabot with Central just a game ahead.
The Hornets played the Cylcones tough at home and hope to turn the tables tonight.
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Likewise, the conference-leading Hornets are at Russellville for a conference doubleheader tonight.
Russellville, at 5-5 in conference play, trails the Hornets by three games but, with a sweep, Bryant could clinch no worse than a share of the conference title going into their final league twinbill against second-place Little Rock Catholic next Thursday at home.