Leader Blues

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

SPORTS>>Lady Panthers fade in opener vs. Parkview

By KELLY FENTON
Leader sports editor

Cabot head coach Carla Crowder got her first look at life without Lauren Walker and Leah Watts on Monday night in the first round of the RAPA Roundball Rally at Little Rock Hall.

Walker, who has since moved on to South Alabama, and Watts pitched in 37 points a game a year ago for the Lady Panthers. It was obvious in a 51-41 loss to Parkview on Monday just how much Cabot misses that scoring punch and the surehandedness of Watts running the offense.

After jumping out to a quick 12-4 lead, the Lady Panthers began to wilt in the face of Parkview’s intense man-to-man defense. A 10-1 run midway through the first half gave the Lady Pats their first lead, which turned out to be a permanent one.

Cabot committed 31 turnovers in the contest, resulting in 18 fewer shot attempts than Parkview. That allowed the Lady Pats to overcome 16 of 54 shooting and to survive a 4-rebound advantage for the Lady Panthers.

“We just didn’t play very well,” said Crowder. “We can’t practice against anything as quick as Parkview. That’s something we have to get used to.”

Stephanie Glover was the only consistent scorer for Cabot, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Her weave through the lane, followed by a couple of Amalie Benjamin buckets and Brooke Taylor’s court-length drive for a lay-up had Cabot up 12-4 six minutes into the contest.

At that point, the Lady Panthers were taking pretty good care of the basketball and moving it around. Three of their first six buckets were assisted. Meanwhile, Parkview couldn’t hit a lick, missing 15 of its first 16 shots. But the turnovers began to mount for Cabot and, by the 6-minute mark, Parkview had mounted a 6-point lead and had out-shot the Lady Panthers 24-9.

A lay-up by Amber Rock and two baskets by Glover had Cabot back within a point with four minutes remaining, but Parkview closed out the half on a 7-1 run to lead 27-20 at the half.

That manageable deficit quickly grew to 19when Parkview opened the second half on a 14-2 run. A pair of Glover free throws were the only points for Cabot over that period as the Lady Panthers fell behind 41-22. Cabot’s first bucket – and one of only four in the second half – came on Glover’s 10-footer on the baseline with 8:59 left.

The Lady Panthers stayed within shouting distance and were within 11 on a pair of Jenna Bailey free throws with 4:11 left. Cabot got as close as 49-40 on two more Bailey free throws with a minute remaining.

Rock scored eight points, while Bailey added six points, two assists and two steals. Arkansas-Little Rock signee Shelby Ashcraft struggled to a 3-point, 8-rebound performance. Benjamin added five.

Cabot made 13 of 36 from the field, missing all five of its 3-point tries. The Lady Panthers made 15 of 25 free throws. Parkview was led by Micah Rice’s 13 points.

Cabot takes on Little Rock Hall on Thursday at 5:30. Hall was crushed by Lonoke on Monday night , 65-22.