Leader Blues

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

SPORTS>> Cabot boys top Conway, pull even in conference

By RAY BENTON
Leader sports editor

The Cabot Panthers got an important win over Conway Friday night to pull even at 1-1 inside the 7A-Central Conference race. The Panthers traveled to the Faulkner County capital to knock off the Wampus Cats 47-44. The Lady Panthers did not fare as well. They fell to 1-1 after losing to the Conway ladies 60-49.

The Panthers came out blazing in the first quarter, taking a 9-1 lead in the first three minutes. That lead eventually grew to 20-8 early in the second quarter, but Conway surged before the end of the half and cut that margin to 22-19 with an 11-2 run. Cabot still managed to get into intermission with the momentum by scoring the last six points of the half and take a 28-19 lead into the break. “I thought we got there ready to play and started off real good,” Cabot coach Jerry Bridges said. “We struggled a lot there in the fourth quarter, but we found a way to hang on and win. I’m real proud of them.”

The Panthers managed just six points in the fourth quarter after leading 41-31 at the end of three, and only had one field goal. They hit free throws at big moments, though, and sealed the win from the line. “We had a couple of sophomores step up and make four huge free throws for us in the last minute, and that’s big,” Bridges said. Conway went on a slow and gradual 10-2 run to make the score 43-41 with 56 seconds left in the game. Cabot sophomore Austin Johnson then hit a pair of free throws, but Conway’s Alex McKnight hit a three pointer with 21 seconds left to make it 45-44. The Wampus Cats then fouled sophomore Adam Sterrenber, who stepped up and hit both of his foul shots to set the final margin.

Conway’s last shot was not a good look and missed everything. Sterrenberg’s two free throws made him the team’s leading scorer in the game with 16 points. Senior post player Alex Sharp finished with 14 while Sam Bates totaled 10 for the Panthers, who improved to ?? on the season. Conway sophomore Terry Tidwell led the Wampus Cats with 17 points. McKnight added 12. The Lady Panthers’ offense struggled worse than the boys’ in the final quarter of their loss Friday night. Cabot trailed by three at 44-41 to start the third, but started the final period with a 6-2 run to take a 47-46 lead with five minutes left in the game. They managed just two more points the rest of the way as Conway closed with a 14-2 run.

Sophomore Shelby Ashcraft led the Lady Panthers with 16 points while Jamie Sterrenberg and Lauren Walker added 12 apiece for the now ?? Lady Panthers. Conway improved to 11-3 and 2-0 in league play. Cabot played Catholic-Mount. St. Mary’s last night after Leader deadlines. Look for details of that matchup in Saturday’s edition of the Leader.