Monday, February 01, 2010

SPORTS >> Lady Panthers cruise past Pointerettes

Cabot’s Amber Rock, right, battles for the ball Tuesday against Van Buren.


Leader sports editor

The Cabot Lady Panthers haven’t been known for strong second-half performances or runaway victories this season, but Cabot improved its performance in both areas against Van Buren on Tuesday night.

The Lady Panthers had four players in double figures and used a big third quarter to rout the Pointerettes 71-54 in a 7A-Central Conference game at Cabot.

It was a satisfying, solid performance for a team that is rebuilding a year after reaching the 7A state tournament.

“We’re really young and we’re really just playing a lot of young people,” Cabot coach Carla Crowder said. “And we’re just trying to get better every game and work. And our kids have worked really hard and they’re good kids.”

The one-sided score and the way it was accomplished was something of a surprise to Crowder. Post Sara Moore is one of Cabot’s few seniors, and Crowder expected her youthful team to play in a much closer game.

“We thought it probably would be,” Crowder said. “We shot really well so we’re real excited about that.”

Cabot (9-10, 2-4) took its first double-digit lead, 15-5, when Brooke Taylor made a three-pointer from the right wing with 2:42 left in the first quarter. But Van Buren (9-11, 2-4) pulled within 18-13 at the end of the period and got within 18-15 when Keri Arnold hit a running jumper for the first points of the second quarter.

Arnold made a five-footer to pull Van Buren within 20-17 with 6:25 left, but the Lady Panthers outscored the Pointerettes 20-10 the rest of the quarter to take a 40-27 halftime lead.

Moore scored all of heir eight, second-quarter points during the stretch while Amber Rock made two three-pointers.

While Crowder was pleased with Cabot’s solid shooting and expected a closer game, the shots and shot selection weren’t entirely a surprise.

“We work on it every day,” she said.

The third quarter was decisive as Cabot outscored Van Buren 19-7. With the Lady Panthers leading 46-32, Kaki Thomas made a three-pointer from the top of the key with 2:40 left to start a 13-2 run that closed out the quarter and gave Cabot a 59-34 lead.

“We’ve not been playing well in the third quarter,” Crowder said. “So we were really trying to come out and hopefully have a good third quarter and maybe concentrate more.”

Rock made four three-pointers and led Cabot with 18 points, Moore scored 15, Thomas had 11 and Melissa Wolff scored 10.