Friday, January 27, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Panthers put Grizzlies out in the fourth

Leader sports editor

A second half collapse cost the Panthers their first conference loss last week, so they made sure it didn’t happen again on Tuesday. That’s when the defending Class 7A state champions came from behind in the second half to defeat Fort Smith Northside 65-50 at Panther Arena.

Northside held a 27-24 lead at halftime, but the home team dominated the last two quarters of play, especially the fourth. The Panthers took a 43-40 lead into the final frame and led 46-44 with six minutes to go, and it was all Cabot from that point.

The Panthers (14-2, 4-1 in 7A-Central) closed the game with a 19-6 run, holding the Grizzlies to just eight points total in the final frame.

The run started with Logan Gilbertson making a short jumper for a 48-44 Cabot lead. After a defensive stop, Jalen Brown drained a long 3-pointer to make it a seven-point game with four minutes left.

Kourtland Mondier responded with a basket for Northside with just under three minutes remaining that made the score 51-46. Cabot post player Matt Stanley then scored inside, and Mondier made 1 of 2 free throws to make it a 53-47 game.

Jarrod Barnes then scored for Cabot, and the two teams traded possessions until just more than two minutes remained.

Cabot point guard Bobby Joe Duncan broke the short scoreless period with four-consecutive free throws after a foul on Razorback signee Isaiah Joe was followed by a technical foul on Northside coach Eric Burnett.

Those four free throws put Cabot up 59-47. On the ensuing possession, Barnes got in the lane for a short jumper and a 61-47 lead, which all but secured the victory with less than two minutes to go.

Mondier was the only Grizzly in double figures with 20 points. Northside (9-6, 4-2), which relies heavily on high-percentage outside shooting, only made 3 of 20 3-point attempts against Cabot’s man defense.

Four Panthers finished in double figures. Duncan led the team with 18 points and added six assists. Barnes scored 15. Matt Stanley had 12 points and eight rebounds, while Brown scored 10.

The Lady Panthers (12-6, 1-4) took Northside (10-8, 3-2) beyond the wire, but ultimately fell 45-42 in overtime.

Cabot’s boys and girls played at North Little Rock on Friday. Look for details of those games in Wednesday’s edition of The Leader.