Leader Blues

Thursday, January 17, 2008

SPORTS >> Shoddy free-throw shooting takes down Cabot at North Little Rock

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter


An 11-of-21 performance at the free-throw line proved the difference between victory and defeat for Cabot on Friday night at Wildcat Arena in North Little Rock. The Panthers had a chance to reclaim a one-point lead in the final minute, but two missed clutch foul shots that allowed the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats to hold on for a 59-56 win.

The scoring was balanced for the Panthers, but work at the charity stripe left a little to be desired. North Little Rock gambled on its outside game to payoff on Friday, hitting 8 of 20 shots beyond the arc during the win.

Cabot coach Jerry Bridges said the spotty free-throw shooting was a setback, but that his Panthers looked better in every other aspect on Friday.

“I wasn’t at all disappointed with our effort,” Bridges said. “Our team defense was better all the way around. Give North Little Rock credit, they hit some big three-point baskets when they needed to. Our guys have been working a lot harder in the practices, and it’s going to pay off with a win. If we can just get that first win, it can snowball into something bigger.”

The Panthers held a two-point lead heading into the final minute, but a basket and free throw put North Little Rock up by one. Cabot had a chance to take the lead once again with a trip to the foul line on the ensuing possession, but missed both free throws.

Adam Sterrenberg led the Panthers with 24 points. Post player Miles Monroe added 13 points, and senior post Sam Bates added nine points for Cabot.

The win improved the Wildcats’ records to 11-5 overall and 2-1 in league play, while the Panthers fell to 11-6 and 0-3 with the loss.

The Lady Panthers suffered their first setback of the conference season with a 65-58 loss to North Little Rock on Friday. The Lady Wildcats held a four-point lead at halftime, but turned up the heat on the Cabot girls in the second half to pull ahead for good.

Guard Leah Watts led the Lady Panthers with 17 points. Junior Shelby Ashcraft added 13 points, while Lauren Walker finished with 10 points. For North Little Rock, Lashoia West and Dominique Smith both finished with 16 points to lead all scorers.
The win improved North Little Rock’s record to 11-5 overall and 2-1 in the 7A-Central Conference. Cabot fell to 12-6 overall and 2-1 in conference play.

The Cabot teams took last night off, and will host Bryant on Friday night, followed by a Saturday evening home game against Little Rock Central.