Leader Blues

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

SPORTS >> Cabot ladies hold off Lady Bombers

BY RAY BENTON
Leader sports editor

IN SHORT: Cabot’s boys and girls basketball teams swept Mountain Home Saturday night, but in different ways. The boys routed the Bombers 62-31 while the girls went to the wire in a 55-54 contest.

The Cabot Lady Panthers took a double-digit lead, then held on for dear life in a 55-54 victory over Mountain Home Saturday night. The game was originally scheduled for Friday, but postponed due to snow.

The Cabot ladies’ biggest lead came at the 2:30 mark of the second quarter. After the Lady Bombers tied the game at 19-19, Cabot went on a 10-0 run to make it 29-19.

Over the last two and a half minutes, Mountain Home came back, and cut the margin to 31-27 by halftime. Lady Bomber guard Sam-antha Dean hit three three pointers in the quarter, including two from about 25 feet out to lead the Mountain Home charge.

The 8-2 run to close the half didn’t stop at intermission. The Lady Bombers added a run to start the third quarter to take a 36-32 lead with 4:24 showing on the clock.

Cabot played sporadically early in the third quarter in losing a big lead to West Memphis two weeks ago as well, but Lady Panther coach Carla Crowder thinks a better focus coming out of halftime will remedy the problem.

“We just came out a little flat in the third,” Crowder said. “It’s mostly just a concentration thing. They just need to get a little more focused early on.”

Two buckets by post player Rachel Glover tied the game up at 36-36, and it was nip-and-tuck the rest of the way.
Cabot threatened to pull away on two occasions, but each time Mountain Home point guard Micaela Cully led the Lady Bombers back.

A Maddie Helms’ putback of a Jamie Sterrenberg miss made it 45-39 with 6:43 left in the game, but Dean hit another long three to cut the margin to three.

Cully then got a steal, a layup and was fouled on the play. She hit the free throw to tie the game with 4:34 left.

Another Cully steal and layup put MH up 47-45 with 3:51 on the clock, but Helms erased the deficit with two free throws just six seconds later.

It was the last time the Lady Bombers would lead in the game.

Glover added a bucket with 2:40 left and Cully tied it again with 2:19 on the clock.

Helms gave Cabot the lead and senior Kim Sitzmann put the Lady Panthers up by four with two free throws at the 1:10 mark.
Cully then rebounded her own missed three pointer and scored with 59 seconds remaining.
MH was forced to foul, but Helms hit both ends of a one-and-one to put Cabot up 55-51 with 31 seconds left.
Cully scored again with 21 seconds on the clock, and then sent junior Lindsey Watts to the line. She missed the front end and Cully took it the other way.
She missed again, but again got her own rebound and was fouled with 1.3 seconds left on the clock.
After hitting her first free throw, which was also her eighth consecutive without a miss, Cabot called timeout. Cully missed the second after the break, Mountain Home’s Amanda Condrey came down with the ball, but Glover also got two hands on it from behind. The two wrestled for the ball until the buzzer sounded.

The win keeps Cabot undefeated after 11 conference games and lifts the Lady Panthers to 21-3 overall.

Mountain Home dropped to 16-8 and 8-3, but stayed alone in second place in the AAAAA-East race.

Sterrenberg led the Lady Panthers with 14 points while Helms added 13. Sitzmann chipped in 12 points and eight boards while Glover added eight points.

Cully led all scorers with 20 points, and added seven rebounds. Dean added 15 for the Lady Bombers.

MH’s Kaitlin May scored seven, and added six steals and six assists in the loss.

The boys game was competitive for a quarter, but the Panthers buried the Bombers in the second quarter of their 62-31 victory.

Cabot senior forward Josh Whatley sparked a 13-0 run over the first five minutes of the second frame that gave the Panthers a comfortable 33-12 lead.

He and junior guard Justin Haas each had nine points at halftime as the Panthers led 35-17. The Panthers put together another run midway through the third to put the game away.

The win lifts Cabot to 16-8 overall and 5-6 in conference play.

Mountain Home dropped to 5-19 and 0-11.

The Panthers and Lady Panthers went on the road to Sylvan Hills last night after Leader deadlines.

That boys matchup holds major playoff implications. Cabot trailed Sylvan Hills by one game and sat in fifth place heading into Tuesday night. Look for details of that game in Saturday’s edition of the Leader.

While the Lady Panthers’ hold on to first place safely regardless of Tuesday’s outcome, the Lady Bears need an upset to keep pace with Searcy and West Memphis for the final playoff spot.