Wednesday, November 13, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot hoops puts on preseason bash

Leader sports editor

Cabot introduced this season’s girls’ and boys’ basketball teams to fans with the Panther Basketball Bash on Monday at Panther Arena. Events featured a three-point shooting contest and a ball-handling race between boys and girls team members. Players introduced and each team played a 20-minute intrasquad scrimmage game.

In the three-point contest, each team selected two players to shoot 25-three pointers from around the key. The boys representatives won the competition 22-15. They also won the ball-handling race by a slim margin.

Lady Panther coach Carla Crowder divided her team into varsity versus junior varsity for the girls’ scrimmage. It was the first public outing for a Cabot team that features several new faces. The varsity team wore red practice jerseys while JV wore black, and the Red team scored the first eight points. It took almost three minutes before either team scored a field goal, but Red scored eight very quickly once its full-court pressure took its toll on the black team.

Junior Alyssa Hamilton, who led the Lady Panthers in scoring in several games last year as a sophomore, also led the way for the winning Red team. When she scored her game-high 10th point with 6:15 left on the clock, it gave Red a 21-5 lead. Sophomore Anna Sullivan added five for the Red team.

The Black team was able to close the gap before the scrimmage ended with Red leading 27-17.

The Black team spread its points around evenly. Seven players on Black scored but none more than three points. Sophomores Madi Nichols and Lily Sinclair each got a bucket and a free throw to lead the JV squad.

Boys coach Jerry Bridges divided his team up more evenly, splitting the starters, varsity and JV players into Red and Gray teams.

The Red team scored the first four points, but Gray prevailed 28-25, largely on the strength of a 7-0 run at the midway point that changed an 11-9 Red lead into a 16-11 advantage for the Gray. Six of those points were scored by sophomore guard Kenny Fowler, who drained two three pointers from the right wing, while senior post Michael Smith made one of two free throws to complete the run with 8:06 left.

Red came back and tied it at 17 on a bucket by senior Nick Thomas and again at 19 on a dunk by senior Adolpho Iglesias, but Gray’s Sawyer Stalnaker hit a three pointer shortly afterward and the Gray team led the rest of the way.

Scoring was balanced for both teams. Fowler led the winning Gray team with eight points while senior Jeremiah Penner and sophomore Garrett Rowe added six each.

Iglesias led the Red team with eight points Thomas added seven and sophomore Hunter Southerland scored six.

The Lady Panthers played its first game of the season at Vilonia on Tuesday after Leader deadlines. The boys and girls will host a benefit scrimmage against Lake Hamilton on Thursday. The Lady Panthers also host Vilonia on Saturday before beginning play in the Heavenly Hoops Classic at Mount. St. Mary on Monday. Their first-round game in that tournament will be at 7 p.m. against Watson Chapel.

The boys’ season doesn’t officially get started until a Nov. 25 game at home against Conway.