SPORTS >>Lady 'Cats take match over Cabot Ladies 3-0
By JASON KING
Leader sports writer
The first game was very closely contested, but the final two were owned by the Lady Wampus Cats, as Conway swept Cabot in straight games Thursday night at the Panther gymnasium in 7A Central Conference action.
Conway (13-7, 6-2) barely hung on in the opening game, in which Cabot (10-10, 2-6) gave the Lady ‘Cats all they wanted. Conway never led by more than four points the entire way, but did not allow the Lady Panthers to tie the score after the 15th point. The Lady Wampus Cats barely took game one 25-23, but found claiming the final two games somewhat easier, winning 25-19 and 25-15.
Game one turned out to be a battle of Conway’s offense against the Cabot defense. The Lady Wampus Cats came away with 13 kills in the frame compared to only eight for Cabot, but the Lady Panthers scored several points with some solid blocking.
Cabot came away with seven points from blocks, while the Lady ‘Cats had only three blocks in the game. Five different Cabot players contributed blocks for points, with only junior Katie Mantione recording more than one kill.
Mantione had four kills off nine attempts in the opening game, despite only seeing limited time on the court. Sophomores Morgan Young and Tori Hendrix saw a good number of minutes on the court in Mantione’s absence, along with junior Erika McCaghren returning to the starting six.
A score of 15-11 would be the biggest interval Conway held against Cabot in game one, but even that did not last long. Mantione and Hendrix got back-to-back blocks, followed by a kill from Mantione to pull the Lady Panthers to within one.
Mantione got her second straight kill on the following rally, to tie the score at 15 all.
Conway was able to regain the lead, but was not able to shake off the determined Lady Panthers.
McCaghren blocked a kill attempt from Conway’s Chelsea Sublett to make the score 23-22, and Mantione had a kill two rallies later to put the game in danger of overtime.
Sublett helped Conway avoid an extra-rally situation with a kill that closed the competitive game out with a final of 25-23.
Cabot fell behind early in the second game. After giving up four quick points to trail 4-0, the Lady Panthers found themselves at a 19-10 deficit before they knew it.
Conway didn’t seal the game when they had the chance, allowing Cabot to rally to within five at 23-18.
The Lady Wampus Cats finally found the two points necessary to seal the deal with kills from Sublett and Emily Griffin.
The Lady ‘Cats used 10 different players in the final game, keeping the rotation fresh, as they cruised though game three 25-15 to claim the 3-0 conference sweep.
Mantione led the Lady Panthers offensively with 10 kills and four errors on 21 attempts. Hendrix led Cabot in blocking with five.
For Conway, Sublett had nine kills and Griffin finished with eight kills. Conway had 30 total team kills compared to 21 for Cabot. The Lady Panthers finished with 11 team blocks; Conway had five.
The Lady Panthers will play today in the Conway Invitational Tournament.