Leader Blues

Friday, December 12, 2008

SPORTS>>Cabot girls have little problem with Lady Bruins

By KELLY FENTON
Leader sports editor

What a difference 72 hours can make.

Three days after going flat in a 33-29 loss to Lake Hamilton at the Bentonville tournament, the Cabot Lady Panthers matched that total in the first eight minutes and 45 seconds on Tuesday night in a 66-37 whipping of Pulaski Academy in Little Rock.

The Lady Panthers ran through and around the Lady Bruins’ constant full-court press for countless easy buckets. They got nearly as many easy lay-ups from their 19 steals in the contest.

“We played really well in the first two games of the Bentonville tournament,” said Cabot assistant coach Charles Ruple. “We shot 59 percent the first game and 55 percent in the second game. The last game, both teams were tired and we ended up shooting 26 percent.”

The Lady Panthers torched the nets for 30 of 53 shooting on Tuesday. With the going inside so easy, they took only three from
beyond the arc, but made two of those.

“We’re like every team – we like to get as many high quality shots as we can,” Ruple said.

The lead reached 21 at the half, 28 after three periods, allowing Cabot to play its entire squad.

In a little more than a half of action, Shelby Ashcraft scored 14 points, grabbed nine rebounds and two steals, and dished out three assists. Sarah Moore added 12 points to go along with six blocked shots. Jenna Bailey was the only other Lady Panther in doublefigures with 10 points and four rebounds.

Cabot raced past Pulaski Academy for 10 points over the first six minutes of the contest. Ashcraft scored off the opening tip, providing a sign of things to come. An 18-2 run over the final five-and-a-half minutes of the first period staked the Lady Panthers to a 24-7 lead.
It reached 31-7 after Bailey’s three and two baskets by Amalie Benjamin, who finished with eight points, three steals, two assists and four boards.

“Pulaski Academy likes to press and he’s going to play all his players,” Ruple said. “But we like to press, too. The chemistry on this team is really good. The seniors and the sophomores really complement each other. The kids like each other and the girls on the bench are always (cheering for) the girls on the floor.”

Stephanie Glover scored only six points, but grabbed eight rebounds and four steals, and dished out three assists. Amber Rock had four assists and three steals. While Cabot was hitting nearly 57 percent of its shots, the Lady Bruins struggled to a 15 of 46 night and made just 2 of 15 three-pointers. Cabot also dominated on the glass with a 41-23 advantage.