Tuesday, December 09, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Panthers dominate early in each half

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Panthers opened their first road game of the season with a 10-0 run, paving the way for a 47-26 victory over the Sheridan Yellowjackets on Friday.

The Panthers hit the ground running, winning the opening tip and taking a quick three-point lead on the first shot of the game by point guard Bobby Joe Duncan. Sheridan took one shot and missed. Cabot got the rebound and center Jared Dixon hit another 3-pointer to quickly put the visiting team up 6-0.

The next bucket didn’t come so quickly after two Sheridan misses and a Cabot turnover. On the Panthers’ fourth possession, they got two offensive rebounds before forward Garrett Rowe got a putback for an 8-0 lead. Sheridan continued to miss from the floor and Cabot continued to dominate the boards. After another defensive stop, Cabot junior Hunter Southerland scored to make it a double-digit lead just three minutes into the game.

After a Sheridan timeout, the two teams traded several fruitless possessions, with Cabot committing two turnovers and Sheridan missing two free throws. Yellowjacket guard Jessie Feathers finally put the home team on the board, but Dixon made it a 10-point margin again on the next possession.

After two more points by each team, the game went into a long stretch without any scoring that stretched well into the second quarter. Cabot’s dry spell lasted longer than Sheridan’s, as the Panthers managed just two points the entire second quarter but still went into halftime with a lead.

Feathers hit a three for Sheridan to make it 14-7 two minutes into the second quarter, and by the middle of the frame, the Yellowjackets had pulled to within 14-12. Duncan finally scored for Cabot in the last minute of the half to send the Panthers into the locker room leading 16-12.

The game stayed close for the first half of the third quarter, but the Panthers went on a run in the latter part of the third that put them in command of the game. Leading 22-19, Cabot scored the final 12 points of the quarter with Tyler Hill scoring five-straight points to kick start the run. The Panthers continued stretching that lead throughout the fourth quarter, with the largest margin coming on a short jumper by Rowe that made it 46-23.

Duncan led Cabot with 12 points while Dixon added 11 for the Panthers. Feathers did almost all the scoring for Sheridan with 17 points.

The Panthers’ next game is in the first round of their own Pre-Holiday Classic, which will tip-off at 8:30 p.m. Thursday against Vilonia.