Leader Blues

Friday, January 05, 2007

SPORTS >>North, South split matchups

IN SHORT: The South girls and North boys won their junior battles with their crosstown rivals Thursday night at CJHS.

Leader sports writer

Cabot North and Cabot South split a pair of Central Arkansas Jr. High Conference games on Thursday night at the South gym. The South girls topped North 38-30, but North pulled away late in the boys contest to take a 36-23 win.

North led the entire way in the boys game, but could never put South away until the fourth quarter. Post player Spencer Neumann gave North a size advantage inside, and they would use that advantage to keep a double-digit lead throughout the second half.

“We worked on spreading the game out,” North coach Keith Watkins said. “They are a little stronger than we are, so it’s kind of a cat-and-mouse game. The first time we played them, we didn’t hit our free throws down the stretch. Tonight, we were able to hit free throws towards the end.”

Neumann came out swinging for North in the first quarter. The multi-sport standout scored the first points of the game with a three-point shot at the 3:58 mark of the opening period, followed by a free throw on the next possession. After a goal by South, Neumann drove it inside for the score to make it 6-2. South was able to rally before the end of the first quarter, cutting North’s lead to 7-6 heading in to the second frame.

North extended their lead to 16-8 by halftime. North only allowed a pair of free throws from South in the second quarter, while adding nine points of their own with shots from three different North players.

North began to slowly pull away in the second half. They took their first double digit lead of the game at the 1:22 mark of the third quarter, and never looked back. Neumann led all scorers in the game with 16 points, including five of six free throws in the final two minutes of the game, when South began to foul to stop the clock.

In the girls game, North cut into South’s lead in the final quarter, but could never make up the remainder of the deficit. South led 24-17 heading into the fourth quarter, but soon found themselves up by only four points by the 3:18 mark. The final minute and a half of the game turned into what was basically a free throw shooting contest, with South coming out on top when it was all said and done.

Marisa Siever was the first South player to go to the charity stripe in the final two minutes at the 1:53 mark of the fourth quarter. She hit the first, but the second shot was short. Taylor Rosel scored the next four South points with a pair of free throws and steal taken coast-to-coast.

South hit five of eight foul shots in the late going to prevent a North comeback. North did their job at the line, going 4 of 4, but two late steals taken in for layups by South put the game out of contention for North.

South’s Amber Rock led all scorers with 14 points. Pete Reed added eight points for South. For North, Sarah Moore led with 11 points, and Erin Shoemaker added 10 points.