Friday, January 02, 2009

SPORTS>>Cabot boys settle for 2nd in Fort Smith

Leader sportswriter

FORT SMITH — The Cabot Panthers came up just short in the finals of the Coca Cola Classic basketball tournament in Ft. Smith this week. Wins over Subiaco Academy and Ft. Smith Southside put the Panthers in the championship game against defending 6A state champion Little Rock Hall, which handed them their third loss of the season 57-51.

Adam Sterrenberg led the Panthers with 30 points against the Warriors, with 10 for Austin Johnson. Both seniors were named to the all-tournament team. Sterrenberg also led the night before in a 57-50 win over Southside.

“We take no consolation in second place, but our guys didn’t back down,” Cabot coach Jerry Bridges said. “We battled back and had our chances, but they made their free throws down the stretch, so give them credit. That’s the main reason we went up there, to see some of the best competition in the state.”

The 2-1 performance at the tourney makes Cabot 10-3 for the season. The Panthers will begin 7A-Central Conference play against defending 7A state runners up Conway.

“If these last two games against Southside and Hall didn’t prepare us for opening conference play, I don’t think anything else can,” Bridges said. “We’ve got 14 nights to qualify for the state tournament, and to open against the favorites to win it all gives us a chance right off the bat.”