Leader Blues

Thursday, December 14, 2006

SPORTS>> Lady Panthers hammer Chapel

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

The Cabot Lady Panthers improved their season record to 7-1 with a 62-40 win over Watson Chapel Tuesday night at the Cabot gymnasium. The Lady Wildcats kept things close for one half, but could not keep up with Cabot in the decisive third quarter. The Lady Panthers scored 21 points while holding Watson Chapel to only six in the third frame, turning a smaller 27-20 lead at the half into a 48-26 runaway by the time the fourth quarter began.

“We changed our defense, and they didn’t recognize it for a couple of possessions,” Cabot assistant coach Charles Ruple said. “They took a time out to make an adjustment for it, and we switched back to our old defense. We just threw their timing off in the third quarter.”

Senior Maddie Helms pushed the Lady Panthers out into the initial lead with a pair of three-point baskets in the first quarter. Helms would also find the goal in the runaway third quarter, but fellow senior Jamie Sterrenberg would spread her scoring out evenly throughout the entire contest. Sterrenberg went on to lead all scorers in the game with 14 points. Helms got hot again in the third with four more of her total 12 points, but it was the team play of junior Rachel Glover off the bench that allowed the Cabot offense to generate maximum productivity. Glover’s eight third-quarter assists were picture perfect, helping the Lady Panthers build up a 22-point lead by the end of the third.

Sophomore Shelby Ashcraft added eight points in the third quarter. Ashcraft finished the game with 11 points as one of three Lady Panthers to finish with double-digit scoring. Ruple says the senior leadership on the team has left nothing to be desired in the early stages of the season. And while high-profile seniors Helms and Sterrenberg have received much of the accolades as team captains, Ruple says the behind the scenes leadership of the Lady Panthers third senior Kayla Cacklett?? has meant just as much.

“She’s a force in practice, and in the locker room,” Ruple said. “You have the other two who have both been All-State and started since their sophomore years, but Kayla is the only senior representative from South. She has been continuously improving, but its’ the hidden things she does that makes the biggest difference. All of our seniors have done an outstanding job.” The Lady Panthers will take most of next week off before hosting Beebe next Friday night. The postponed final game of the Ortho tournament with CAC will also be scheduled for make-up in the coming week.