Leader Blues

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

SPORTS>>Panthers beaten by Cyclones, ladies win

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

The Cabot Panthers took their fifth consecutive conference loss on Friday to Russellville 72-58 at Cabot High School. The Cyclones only outplayed Cabot in the second quarter of the game, but built enough of a cushion before the half that the Panthers were not able to recover in the second half.

Russellville outscored Cabot 18-7 in the decisive frame to lead 35-22 at the intermission. Cabot’s shooting percentage picked back up in the third quarter, but consistent outside shooting from the Cyclones would allow little of the first half deficit to be made up. Sophomore guard A.J. Broadnax proved too much for the Panthers to contain in the contest.

Broadnax led the way in scoring for the Cyclones with 24 points, including four three-point baskets. Forward Jared Williamson also helped Russellville out in the second half with 11 of his total 14 points. Williamson’s only points in the first half was a three pointer at the 2:01 mark of the first half, but once Broadnax began to cool off late in the third quarter, he took up the slack with a strong performance behind the arc and in the paint.

Cabot had three players finish in double figures, but the problem for the Panthers would be no points from any other player, until Jacob Trammell added all eight of his points in the second half. Sophomores Adam Sterrenberg and Austin Johnson, along with Alex Sharp were the only scorers for the Panthers in the entire first half.

Sterrenberg’s shooting fell cold in the third quarter, when Cabot has its best chance of catching up to the Cyclones. Business picked back up for Sterrenberg in the fourth quarter, but it was too late to mount to comeback by that point. The Panthers racked up 20 points in the final frame, but 19 points from Russellville kept the margin the same, and allowed the Cyclones to coast to another 7A-Central win.

Sterrenberg led Cabot with 19 points. Sharp added 15 for the Panthers, and Johnson finished with 14. Senior guard Trammell had eight points to round out Cabot’s scoring. The loss drops Cabot’s record to 9-11 overall and a dismal 1-6 in conference.
The Lady Panthers ended up with a 54-40 win on Friday, but not after surviving a serious rally from Russellville in the third quarter. The Lady Panthers appeared to be coasting their way to an easy win in the first half of the girls game, but the Lady Cyclones decided to make a game of it in the second half. Cabot rushed out to a dominating 11-0 lead by the 2:47 mark of the opening quarter, and held a comfortable 30-12 lead at the intermission.

Outside shooting for Lady Panthers junior guard Leah Watts seemed effortless in the first half. Watts hit a three just before the end of the first quarter, and repeated another tre in the opening seconds of the second quarter to give Cabot a 17-1 lead. Lauren Walker found nice looks in the paint to put up four quick points in the middle of the period, and Watts swished another three at the 3:29 mark to put the Lady Panthers ahead 27-7.

Watts and Walker combined for 19 points in the first half, with Walker scoring all of her points around the paint, and Watts’ from behind the arc. Despite hot hands in the first half, neither player would be a factor in the second half. The starting five for Cabot fell on their faces in the second half. The Lady Cyclones went on a 14-0 run during the first five minutes of the third quarter to pull within four points at 30-26. Senior forward Jamie Sterrenberg finally got Cabot on the board with a jumper in the paint, but it did little to slow Russellville’s momentum.

Rachel Glover provided Cabot’s only spark in the second half. Glover didn’t score a single goal in the game, but her eight of 10 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter would ultimately prove to be the difference in the game. Sterrenberg made key defensive plays late, thwarting a severe threat from the Lady Cyclones in the early stages of the fourth. A three pointer from Janey Jacimore at the 7:20 mark of the final frame made it a two-point game for Russellville at 33-31. Shelby Ashcraft kept Cabot out front with a pair of free throws, followed by a jumper from Sterrenberg to put the Lady Panthers up 37-33.
Sterrenberg also had good consistency at the charity stripe in the final minutes, going five of six at the line to make up almost half of her team-leading 13 points for Cabot.

Watts finished with 11 points for Cabot, and Walker had 10. For Russellville, Autumn Stewart led with 11 points, nine of which came in the second half. The win improves the Lady Panthers’ record to 16-4 overall and 4-2 in conference. The Cabot teams hosted Conway last night, and will take on Catholic/Mt. Saint Mary’s on the road Friday night.