Leader Blues

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

SPORTS >>Cabot sweeps SH at Ortho

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

Cabot swept Sylvan Hills in the first round of the Ortho Invitational tournament at Central Arkansas Christian Monday night.
The Lady Panthers routed Sylvan Hills 67-38 in a mercy-ruled decision, but the boys game was anything but a rout. The Bears gave the Panthers all they wanted in the narrow 43-40 Cabot win. The Panthers made 10 out of 12 free- throw attempts in the final quarter, and they would need every one of them to hold off the inexperienced-but-stubborn Bears. Chris Wallace came within inches of forcing the game into overtime with a three-point shot from the right side at the buzzer, but the ball just bounced off the rim, giving the win to Cabot.

Cabot sophomore Adam Sterrenberg had been lights out from the charity stripe in the final frame, hitting six consecutive foul shots to keep the Panthers out front. His final foul shots came with only five seconds remaining in the game after picking up the rebound of a bricked three-point attempt from Sylvan Hills senior Tyler Thomason. His first six were perfect, but Sterrenberg’s final two shots fell short, and the Bears rebounded for one final attempt. The Cabot bench breathed a sigh of relief when Wallace’s shot bounced away, allowing the Panthers to escape with the victory and improve their season record to 2-1.

Cabot coach Jerry Bridges wasn’t entirely pleased with his team’s performance in the game, but was relieved to come away with a win over a Sylvan Hills team that according to Bridges was much better than advertised. I guess coach (Kevin) Davis wants to cry about losing all of his starters from last year,” Bridges joked. “We may not have played well, but they had a lot to do with it. We had a bunch of shots go in and out early. I would rather win ugly than lose pretty any day, and this was a win. We are a young team just like they are, and we’re going to have our nights when things don’t go right, and this was one of them. I apologize to everybody that paid money to watch that.”

Although the sloppiness from both teams offensively made the game a low-scoring affair, the narrow interval between the two teams throughout the duration made up for the lack of scoring highlights. Cabot enjoyed its largest lead of the game in the opening minutes of the game after jumping out to a 6-0 advantage, but the Bears quickly caught up, and the game stayed within one or two scores for the remainder of the contest.

Sophomores Sterrenberg and Austin Johnson gave the Panthers the initial lead with three early baskets. Sterrenberg scored first when Jacob Trammell got a steal from Sylvan Hills senior T.J. Shelton and got the assist. Johnson then hit two straight. The first was a put-back of an Alex Sharpe miss inside; the second was a steal that he took coast to coast for 6-0 lead at the 6:12 mark of the opening quarter.

Sylvan Hills didn’t let the Panthers steal the momentum early, answering with a basket from Richard Harper, followed by two points from Thomason to cut the Cabot lead to two. Sylvan Hills tied the game near the end of the frame, and took the lead at the end of the quarter with a free throw from Shelton.

The second quarter was relatively drama free until the final minute, when Bridges drew a technical foul after disputing a walking call against the Panthers. Wallace hit one of the two technical foul shots, but the Bears did not convert after getting the ball at half court after the foul, and Cabot held on to the lead at halftime 17-16.

Sylvan Hills’ only lead in the game would come with 4:22 left in the third quarter when Shelton hit an inside shot to put the Bears up 22-20. Johnson answered right back to tie for Cabot, and Trammell put them up once again with a pick on the inbounds pass from Tony Robinson. Trammell took the steal all the way for the basket, giving the Panthers a 24-22 lead.
It was Trammell that regained the lead for Cabot in the third, but he almost gave that lead away with 1:42 left in the game. Trammell was called for the offensive foul after serving an elbow in the chest to P.J. Ross after Ross’ coverage at mid-court frustrated the Cabot ball handler.

Ross hit both free throws, cutting the Panthers’ lead to 39-37. Cabot went into stall mode, eating up precious seconds that Sylvan Hills needed to take the tying or winning shot. Ross finally committed the foul on Sterrenberg with 36 left, fouling him out of the game. Sterrenberg hit both ends, but Robinson quickly nailed a three pointer on the other end of the court to make the score 41-40 with 27 seconds left.

Trammell took to the stripe during the next series, making both shots to put the Panthers back up by three. Thomason then bricked a three-point attempt off the glass, and Sterrenberg came up with the rebound. He quickly drew the foul, but missed both shots at the line, and Wallace came up with it.

Sterrenberg led all scorers for Cabot with 17 points, including 8 of 10 from the free throw line. Johnson added 12 points for the Panthers, and Trammell led defensively with four steals in the game. For Sylvan Hills, Shelton led offensively with 11 points and seven rebounds. Thomason added nine boards for the Bears.

The Panthers will take on Little Rock Catholic on Thursday. The Rockets advanced to the second round with a 64-40 win over host team CAC on Monday. The Bears will take on the Mustangs in the first round of the consolation bracket on Thursday.
The Lady Panthers had a much easier time on Monday, downing the Lady Bears 67-38 in a mercy-ruled game. Cabot jumped out to a 19-9 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. The Cabot starters only played until the 4:36 mark of the third quarter, when the JV squad came in to finish the job. Jamie Sterrenberg and Shelby Ashcraft shared leading scorer duties for Cabot with 16 points each. For Sylvan Hills, Rochelle Dobbins led the way offensively with 13 points.
The Cabot ladies will take on Marshall in the winners bracket on Thursday, Sylvan Hills moves to the consolation bracket to face Little Rock Christian.