Tuesday, December 27, 2011

SPORTS >> Cabot beats Lamar in Texas girls tournament

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Lady Panthers came off a long break with a great performance in the opening round of the Mansfield, Texas, Rotary Club’s Girls Invitational Basketball Tournament on Tuesday.

Cabot beat nearby Lamar High School of Arlington, Texas, 76-65 to advance in the winners bracket of the 32-team tournament and run its winning streak to seven games. The tournament is spread out over four sites in the Fort Worth area, including Legacy High School, Summit High School, Timberview High School and Mansfield High School.

Cabot assistant coach Charles Ruple was very pleased with how his team performed, especially considering the long layoff and long road trip.

“To score 76 points is pretty good after a layoff like we had,” Ruple said. “We shot the ball exceptionally well and our defensive pressure was very good.”

Although the final margin wasn’t a large one, Cabot controlled the game throughout. The Lady Panthers scored the first six points of the game, and forced turnovers on each of Lamar’s first four possessions.

Lamar called timeout with three minutes left in the opening quarter after Cabot had built an 18-5 lead. The Lady Panthers scored four more after the timeout before Lamar got back on the scoreboard with a minute left in the frame.

“We came out pressing and did a super job,” Ruple said. “It looked like it might be a blowout all the way but they brought in a girl off the bench that hurt us a little bit and kept them in the game.”

Cabot still maintained about an 18-point advantage throughout the game, and was able to stretch its lead enough in the second half to bring everyone off the bench for the final few minutes of the game.

“Everybody played including the sophomores, so that was good experience for them,” Ruple said.

Cabot wasn’t able to scout Lamar in person, but had done some homework, and got out of its opponent what it expected.

“They played a lot like we thought they would,” Ruple said. The main thing was playing well after a long trip like that. Lamar is right there nearby and didn’t have to drive very far. But the girls did play very well.”

Senior Melissa Wolff turned in complete game with 26 points, six rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals. Elliot Taylor had 10 points and six rebounds and Jalyn Bridges had 10 points and three assists.

Cabot shot 56 percent from the floor and hit 50 percent of its three-point shots.

The win earned Cabot (10-2)a second game on the same day. They played tournament host Summit at 8:15 p.m. last night at Legacy High School. Look for details of that game and the rest of Cabot’s games at the tournament in Saturday’s edition of The Leader.