Saturday, November 20, 2010

SPORTS>>Hall halts rally bid as Cabot gets loss

Leader sportswriter

Cabot and host Little Rock Hall both felt the need for speed in their second-round matchup in the Hall Invitational at Cirks Arena Thursday.

The Lady Warriors held off a frantic challenge by Lady Panthers’ leading scorer Melissa Wolff in the second half of their 61-51 victory to advance to tonight’s championship finals against North Little Rock.

Cabot will face Little Rock Parkview in the third-place game today at 4 p.m.

Wolff scored 13 of her 21 points in the second half, as Cabot (1-1) cut a 10-point lead to three with 4:30 left to play, but Hall teammates Tyler Scaife and Indica Austin answered the Lady Panthers’ challenge and pushed the lead to more than 10 in the closing minutes.

The fast pace resulted in an ample number of turnovers by both teams, as the Lady Panthers and Lady Warriors (2-0) each clamped down in the backcourt with press defenses.

Hall committed 18 turnovers to 23 by Cabot.

The Lady Panthers made out slightly better in the transition game, but the Lady Warriors persevered with better shot selection down the stretch, along with a stout, 26-point performance by Scaife to lead all scorers.

Cabot junior post player Laci Boyett made it 45-42 when she stole the ball at half court and drove for a lay-up. Austin came back with a jumper, followed by a score by Scaife with 3:40 left that pushed Hall’s lead to 49-42.

The Lady Panthers appeared to have caught a break when Damonique Miller, Hall’s biggest outside shooting threat, committed her fifth foul on Jaylin Bridges, who made both free throws.

Austin traveled to give the ball back to Cabot, which had a chance to pull within one possession.

But Cabot couldn’t score, and Scaife made a basket from the lane to extend the lead to 51-44.

Cabot senior point guard Kaki Thomas led in assists most of the night before hitting a three-pointer that made it 51-47 with 2:21 left for half of her six points. Thomas finished with five assists.

But it was all Hall from there. Scaife hit a pair of free throws, followed by two successful trips to the free-throw line by Austin for a 57-47 Hall lead.

Hall also used a big run early in the first half to seize momentum. Cabot took a 5-2 lead with some help from a technical foul against the Lady Warriors when 6-3 post player Katelyn Weber entered the game despite not being listed in the official scorebook.

Sophomore Elliot Taylor made one of the technical free throws, and Bridges made a three-point basket when she grabbed a long offensive rebound and put it back up.

The Lady Warriors came back with a pair of three-pointers by Jasmine Ford and two transition baskets by Scaife, followed by a free throw by Tierra Coffey as Hall overcame a 7-2 Cabot lead to go in front 13-7.

Taylor was not able to recreate the 20-point performance she had against Lonoke in the opener on Monday. Hall was aggressive defensively in the lane, limiting her to seven points, five of which came from the free-throw line.

But Taylor shined with a game-high nine rebounds.

Bridges, Thomas and Boyett all finished with six points for the Lady Panthers. Junior post player Sydney Wacker added six points and five rebounds.