Friday, November 24, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Panthers mix it up for home contests

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Panthers and Lady Panthers took the floor at Panther Arena on Tuesday, albeit against different schools and with different results. The Lady Panthers rolled easily over the Mills Comets 71-26, while the boys suffered a 50-40 defeat to J.A. Fair.

For the Lady Panthers, it was the second win in as many days. The Cabot ladies went on the road on Monday and beat Searcy 64-40.

In that first win of the week, Cabot jumped out to an early lead, but never extended it or put the game out of reach until the fourth quarter. The Lady Panthers led 16-11 at the end of one period and 28-19 at halftime. Both teams scored 16 points in thethird quarter, but Cabot clamped down on defense while also turning in its best offensive period in the fourth. The Lady Panthers outscored Searcy 20-5 to set the final margin.

Senior Lesley Roberts was one of two Cabot players in double figures, and she had a phenomenal shooting night. She made 8 of 13 shot attempts, including 6 of 10 from 3-point range to finish with 22 points.

Post player Emily Belin added 10 points for Cabot (3-2). Izzy Arnold scored eight while Chloe Thompson and Brooklyn Stracener scored six apiece. Arnold also dished out nine assists.

LaTiana Floyd and Kamie Provence each scored 12 points for Searcy (1-2).

On Tuesday, the Lady Comets best quarter was the first one, and they still trailed 19-8 at the end of it. Cabot won the second quarter 17-6 to take a 36-14 lead into halftime. That was up to 56-20 by the end of the third, invoking the sportsmanship rule and the clock ran continuously in the fourth. Cabot still managed 15 more points.

Jasmine Ellison led Mills (1-3) with 11 points. Stracener led Cabot with 16 while Dejah Jimerson scored 14 and Belin again contributed 10.

Cabot finished with 16 steals and forced 25 turnovers.

The Cabot boys simply could not get shots to fall in the first half. The Panthers finished the game shooting 35 percent from the floor, but that was down around 20 percent in the first two quarters, and that resulted in just nine total points by halftime.

The deficit was still only nine, and Cabot posted 17 points in the third quarter, but the War Eagles got hot as well and managed to extend their lead to 40-26 by the start of the fourth quarter.

The Panthers (2-1) made a run, but the hole was too deep. Jalen Brown led Cabot with 14 points while Noah Allgood scored 12. It was the season opener for Fair, which was led by Deaveon Bankston’s 19 points. Jaylin Christopher added 14 for the Eagles.

The Cabot boys will play Subiaco Academy next Thursday in the first round of the Van Buren tournament, and have games scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Van Buren as well.

The Lady Panthers are off until facing McClellan in the first round of the Cabot Pre-Holiday Classic, which is not until Dec. 5.