By Rob Patrick
Both the Bryant Hornets and the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats freshman basketball teams had been scoring in the 40’s and 50’s so far this season while posting unbeaten records. But when they met each other in the championship round of the annual Bryant Invitational Tournament on Thursday, such was not the case.
Neither team fared well offensively when it got down to a halfcourt game, but North Little Rock managed just a few more layups off the running game and grind out a 30-22 win.
By Rob Patrick
NORTH LITTLE ROCK — If this was it; if the Bryant Lady Hornets’ hopes of reaching the Class 7A State Tournament in Van Buren ended on Tuesday, Oct. 20, with a 3-0 loss at North Little Rock; and, if this season begins a new era of success for the Lady Hornets program, the senior class of 2009 will at least be able to look back and say, “We were there. We helped turn it around.”
It won’t be certain until the coaches get together on Wednesday, Oct. 21, to compare scores but with their 11-25, 15-25, 14-25 loss at North Little Rock coupled with Cabot’s 3-1 win over Van Buren, the Lady Hornets may well have been knocked out of a State big despite being tied with Cabot for the sixth spot with a 6-8 league mark.
As best as can be determined, that’s the best conference record by a Bryant team this decade.
VAN BUREN — As fine a season as the Bryant Lady Hornets have had, particularly in light of past struggles, there is little room for error in their quest to reach the Class 7A State volleyball tournament. After losing in four games at Van Buren, 18-25, 22-25, 25-23, 11-25 on Thursday, Oct. 15, the Lady Hornets must win at North Little Rock in their final conference game on Tuesday, Oct. 20, or hope that Van Buren follows up its victory with another one against Cabot that evening.
“Going into Thursday night, we were tied for third in conference,” noted Lady Hornets coach Beth Solomon. “After the loss, we’re doing to being tied for fifth. The North Little Rock match is crucial for us. The girls have got to come out and play and be ready to step back up.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK — The Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team captured their fourth straight win in the South Division of the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference, in just two games at North Little Rock on Thursday, Oct. 1.
Improving to 12-3 overall and 9-2 in divisional play, the Lady Hornets go into their final three regular-season contests atop the standings.
They were set to travel to Lake Hamilton on Monday, Oct. 5 before hosting Conway Blue (one of the teams that has beaten them this season) on Thursday. They wrap up the regular-season campaign on Monday, Oct. 12, when Cabot South visits.
Bryant will host the CAJHC post-season tournament beginning Wednesday, Oct. 14.
Bryant won in two after needing three games to extract victories in two of its last three outings. In both, they faltered in the second game.
“I have been taling to the team all week on what has been happening during our second games,” noted head coach Monica Parish. “We have been working hard on focusing during this time and it paid off at North Little Rock.”
The Bryant Lady Hornets freshman team made it two wins in a row and four in five outings this season by sweeping the Lake Hamilton Junior Lady Wolves, 25-12, 25-20, at the Bryant Middle School gym on Thursday, Sept. 10.
An eighth grade game involving Bryant Blue (Bethel Middle School) was cancelled when Lake Hamilton was unable to accumulate enough players to play.
By Rob Patrick
The Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team just needed something positive to happen Friday night when they took on the North Little Rock Colts. Just getting back on the field again was pretty good to begin with after the unfortunate events that ended their previous game at Lakeside.
And, behind the four-hit pitching of Trent Daniel and Tyler Sawyer, they notched a victory to boot, 6-2.
It was North Little Rock's first game of the season after rainouts had dogged them. The Colts figure to be there in the end but five errors haunted them against the Sox.
"Not many games are that big in May, to where it's almost a must win," commented Sox manager Craig Harrison. "But this week, we really wanted to win tonight. I mean, really wanted to win tonight. We played a quality team. You could tell it's early. They made a lot of mistakes and we capitalized on them and their two runs scored on mistakes we made."
Seven of the eight runs scored between the two teams were unearned.
By Rob Patrick
FAYETTEVILLE — North Little Rock pitcher Jessica Sheldon returned to the form that made her the MVP of the 2008 Class 7A State Tournament, limiting the Bryant Lady Hornets to just one run on four hits on Saturday, May 9, at the University of Arkansas' Bogle Park. The Lady Charging Wildcats took advantage of five Bryant errors with 10 hits for a 7-1 win to repeat as champions.
The Lady Hornets had captured the 7A-Central Conference championship by sweeping North Little Rock during the regular season including a 6-4 win at North Little Rock with Sheldon pitching. In both of those games, the Lady Hornets trailed early and rallied for victory so it wasn't too distressing that, this time too, they fell behind 3-0 over the first three innings as Sheldon retired the first 10 batters she faced.
The Bryant Lady Hornets know they can beat the North Little Rock Lady Charging Wildcats but, like just about any coach you might encounter would say, it's tough to beat a good team three times in one season.
What that coach might not want to say is, it may be even tougher to beat a good team you haven't been able to defeat in two previous meetings.
That's part of the dynamic as the Lady Hornets and the Lady Wildcats, who finished 1-2, respectively, in the 7A-Central Conference, meet for the Class 7A State championship at Bogle Park on the University of Arkansas campus on Saturday, May 9, at noon.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK — The Bryant Lady Hornet track team scored 102 points to finish third at the North Little Rock Relays Thursday night.
The Lady Hornets finished behind 7A-Central Conference foes Conway, which won the meet, and host North Little Rock, which finished runner-up.
First place finishers for Bryant were Dylan Vail in the 1600 meter run (6:00.2), Jordan Chadwick in the 100 meter hurdles (16.2), and Catherine Fletcher in the pole vault, clearing 9 feet.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK — The Bryant Hornets set a new school record in the 400 meter relay on Thursday in route to a fourth place finish at the North Little Rock Invitational Relays. The Hornets scored 52 points to finish behind Conway, North Little Rock, and Cabot.
The 400 meter relay team of Stanley Oxner, Tanner Tolbert, James Glasper, and Chris Brooks set the new school standard of 43.86 to place third behind North Little Rock and Conway. The old record of 43.90 was set in last year's conference meet.