Tuesday, November 15, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Chapel spoils Cabot girls’ opener

Leader sports editor

The Cabot girls’ basketball team started the season with a strong first quarter, but defending Class 5A state champion Watson Chapel controlled the second, third and fourth quarters en route to a 51-38 victory over the Lady Panthers in the first round of the Heavenly Hoops Classic at Mount St. Mary Academy on Monday.

Cabot’s best quarter was the first, and its worst was the second. The Lady Panthers were in rhythm offensively, scoring 16 points and taking a 16-11 lead. But that rhythm came to a screeching halt in the second quarter. Watson Chapel began pressuring the ball the length of the court and Cabot’s offense was stymied.

The Lady Panthers also played good defense, holding Chapel to just nine points, but they managed only two, and went into the locker room at halftime trailing 20-18.

Chapel got its halfcourt offense going in the third quarter, feeding the ball inside to four-year starter and leading scorer Peyton Martin, who was the 2015-16 Class 5A Player of the Year and state tournament MVP.

The teams were almost even from the free-throw and 3-point lines. The difference came inside the paint, where Chapel outscored Cabot 26-14.

The Lady Wildcats made 13 of 16 free-throw attempts and were 4 of 14 from the 3-point line. Cabot was just 9 of 15 from the foul line and 5 of 14 from three.

Martin led all players with 18 points and nine rebounds. Timesha Cole scored 14 and Cayla Trotter added 11 for the Lady Wildcats, who outrebounded Cabot 27-13.

Senior Josie VanOss was the only Lady Panther in double figures. She finished with 12 points.

The Lady Panthers fall to the losers’ bracket and will play eStem Charter at 5:30 p.m. today. The Lady Mets lost to North Little Rock in the first round on Monday.

In the top half of the bracket, Mount St. Mary beat Forrest City 48-32, while Conway dominated Star City 70-45. The winners of that game will meet at 8:30 p.m. today, while the losers play at 4 p.m.