Wednesday, January 22, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Panthers get first East win at Hangar

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Panthers picked up their first conference win in three tries when they traveled to Mountain Home and beat the Bombers 49-30 Friday.

Cabot took control early with a 15-2 run to take a 17-4 lead in the first quarter. Senior Adolfo Iglesias came off the bench to spark the run, scoring seven points on the low block. Iglesias finished with a season-high 14 points, including 12 in the pivotal first half.

Iglesias converted a three-point play late in the second quarter to give the Panthers their biggest lead of the half at 25-10.

After going into halftime with a 27-13 lead, the margin grew to 20 points when the Panthers (10-5, 1-2) answered an opening bucket by the Bombers with an 8-0 run that made it 35-15. Mountain Home (5-9, 0-3) would get no closer than 16 points the rest of the way.

“We didn’t need to start 0-3,” said Cabot coach Jerry Bridges. “You never know going on the road, but I was really proud of my guys. We played like we cared. I didn’t feel like we played against Marion like you need to play. Friday night I thought we got back to playing hard, and we executed well.”

After an abysmal rebounding effort and getting into foul trouble against Marion last Tuesday, Bridges decided he had to sacrifice one thing in order to accomplish another.

He played Friday’s game almost exclusively in a matchup zone, instead of his preferred man defense.

“I just don’t think it’s a good rebounding defense for us,” Bridges said. “But it did keep us out of foul trouble and kept them off the free-throw line. And we didn’t rebound against Marion anyway. We had one defensive rebound in the whole first half in that game and played man the whole time. That’s what I mean about the effort. It just wasn’t there in that game and that was disappointing. We played like we cared at Mountain Home and hopefully we’ll keep doing that.”

Sophomore Garrett Rowe led Cabot with 16 points while Derek Curtis led Mountain Home with 13.

In a girls game where points were a premium, Mountain Home made the most of two runs that led to the Lady Bombers’ 26-22 win. After falling behind 15-8, Mountain Home scored the last five points of the second quarter and the first seven points of the third quarter before settling into a defensive struggle and prevailing.

The 12-0 run gave the home team a 20-15 lead with 5:20 left in the third quarter, and the two teams combined for just 13 more points the rest of the game.

Free throw shooting killed Cabot’s comeback attempt. The Lady Panthers missed 6 of 7 free-throw attempts in the third quarter after pulling to within 20-18.

Mountain Home’s Hannah Gaines finally hit a short jumper to make it 22-18 on the first possession of the fourth quarter. After that, neither team scored for more than six minutes. Cabot’s CoCo Calhoon finally broke the scoring drought when she converted a steal into a transition layup to make it 22-20 with 1:42 left in the game.

Cabot went with full-court pressure after the layup, and almost got another steal. But Mountain Home got the loose ball and found Gaines under the basket for an uncontested layup.

Mountain Home (4-11, 1-2) fouled Anna Sullivan with 10 seconds left, and for the first time in the game, a Lady Panther hit both free throws. Cabot fouled with six seconds left and Sydney Blevins made both foul shots to set the final margin.

Breelyn Arms led all scorers with seven points. Calhoon led Cabot (10-7, 1-2) with six.