Wednesday, December 16, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Raiders beat Cabot in title game

Leader sports editor

The Riverview Lady Raiders stayed undefeated in beating Cabot 46-42 and winning the Pre-Holiday Classic at Panther Arena on Saturday. Riverview, the defending Class 4A state champions, beat undefeated defending 1A champs Nemo Vista on Friday, then took advantage of a terrible shooting night by the Lady Panthers to earn the tournament championship.

“They’re a good team, but I don’t think (the poor shooting) had anything to do with them and everything to do with us,” said Cabot coach Carla Crowder. “You have to make layups and you have to make free throws. That’s the bottom line.”

Cabot’s defense dominated the fourth quarter, but two other factors caused the team to fall short. The first was trailing 40-31 at the end of the third quarter. The second was missing 8 of 12 shots from the floor and 3 of 5 free-throw attempts.

Cabot held Riverview to just four shot attempts the entire fourth quarter, but the shooting woes hampered the comeback attempts.

Cabot’s Rachel Allgood rebounded a miss and went the distance of the court for a short jumper that pulled Cabot to within 44-42 with 55 seconds remaining.

Riverview (13-0) then missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Allgood got the rebound. She was fouled, and also missed the front end with 33 seconds remaining. Riverview’s Erika Johns got the rebound and hit Kayla Young beating everyone down the floor for a runout layup that set the final margin.

Cabot went 9 for 29 from the floor and 12 for 23 at the free-throw line. The Lady Panthers also turned the ball over 24 times against Riverview’s vaunted full-court pressure defense.

“Our guards ran off and left Leighton (Taylor-PG) instead of staying back and helping,” Crowder said. “We didn’t run our press break right, the way we practice it. That’s the bottom line on that.”

Taylor and Allgood each finished with 11 points. Taylor added five steals, three rebounds and three assists while Allgood had a team-high six rebounds and added two steals.

Madison Riley led River-view with 15 points. Johns scored 11 and Young 10 for the Lady Raiders.

On Friday, Cabot dominated Benton 51-26 to earn a shot at the undefeated Lady Raiders. Cabot led just 18-12 at halftime, but outscored Benton 33-14 in the second half. Senior forward Anna Sullivan was the only player in the game to score in double figures, finishing with 19 points and adding a game-high seven rebounds. CoCo Calhoon and Josie Vanoss each scored eight points for the Lady Panthers (5-4).

The Lady Panthers play a nonconference road game at Paragould on Friday.