Friday, December 05, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot girls hammer Lady Lions

Leader sportswriter

The Cabot girls had no trouble picking up their fourth win of the season Tuesday night at Panther Arena, as the host Lady Panthers dominated Class 2A England en route to a 57-27 mercy-rule win.

Cabot wasted little time establishing its dominance, as the Lady Panthers took a 21-4 lead into the second quarter of the nonconference matchup, and their lead only progressed as the game did.

The Lady Panthers (4-1) pushed their lead to 21 by the end of the first half, 26 by the end of the third quarter, and, of course, 30 by game’s end. Cabot’s defense gave England (2-5) problems early, and the Lady Panthers were able to turn the turnovers forced into points at the other end.

By the midway point of the first quarter, Cabot led 11-2 on a transition layup by Anna Sullivan. The Lady Panthers got their first double-digit lead on a free throw by Alyssa Hamilton shortly after, which made the score 12-2, and the hosts closed the opening quarter with a 9-2 run to lead 21-4.

Leading 25-8 with 5:41 remaining in the second quarter, Cabot coach Carla Crowder pulled all five of her starters, but the Lady Panthers still managed to further their lead. Cabot took its first 20-point lead on a putback by sophomore center Carly Melder after a missed free throw, which made the score 29-9 with 4:39 left in the half.

England eventually got its deficit back into the teens as the half wound down, but Rachel Allgood pushed the Cabot lead back to 20-plus with a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining, setting the halftime margin at 38-17.

Both teams started the second half cold. Each team finished the third quarter 2 for 10 from the floor, but the Lady Panthers missed their first eight shots from the field. Cabot’s first field goal of the quarter came with 1:58 remaining, which was a three by Allgood.

Allgood’s three improved Cabot’s lead to 44-22 and the Lady Panthers closed the third quarter with a 4-0 run to lead 48-22 at the start of the fourth quarter. Cabot’s final bucket of the quarter came on a transition layup by Sullivan with eight seconds remaining, which was the result of a steal by teammate Chloe Bean.

In the fourth quarter, Cabot upped its lead to 26 with another transition bucket – this one by Josie Vanoss with 5:58 to play. Vanoss’ bucket put Cabot up 51-25, and with 3:04 remaining, Vanoss drained two free throws that made the score 55-25, and invoked the sportsmanship rule.

Cabot’s Rachel Key set the final score with a bucket in the waning moments of the fourth quarter, and Melder went to the free-throw line after being fouled with just seconds remaining. With the clock running continuously, Melder sank her first free throw, but time had already expired, and the basket didn’t count as a result.

The Lady Panthers outrebounded the Lady Lions 42-18, and the host team made 22 of 57 shots from the floor for 39 percent. England finished the game 8 of 41 from the floor for 20 percent. Cabot finished the game with 16 turnovers. England committed 19.

Alesha Penister led the Lady Lions with 11 points. Cabot’s Leighton Taylor also scored 11 points, all coming in the first half, to lead the hosts. Sullivan had 10 points for Cabot. Vanoss scored eight. CoCo Calhoon scored seven. Allgood had six.

Emily McCaghren, Hamilton and Melder added four points each. Key had two points, and Maddie Willhite had one.