Leader Blues

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

SPORTS >> Cabot girls take over 2nd place

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

Once the fourth quarter started, the Pointerettes found themselves between a Rock and a hard place.

Amber Rock scored half of her team-leading 10 points for Cabot — including the go-ahead basket — in the final period as the Lady Panthers came from behind for a 37-34 win over Van Buren on Friday night at Panther Pavilion. Post player Stephanie Glover also came up big on the low block late in the game, tallying all six of her points in the fourth quarter.

“It was like two old men at a party,” said Cabot assistant coach Charles Ruple. “Nobody wanted to find a dance partner. It wasn’t pretty, but they make a lot of teams play that way. They are very well coached, and they’re deceptive.”

The win, combined with Bryant’s loss to North Little Rock on Friday, puts the Lady Panthers in sole possession of second place in the 7A-Central Conference standings. North Little Rock has clinched the league title with a 13-0 record, while Cabot (19-6 overall) sits 9-3 and Bryant is 9-4. Van Buren fell to 13-12 overall and 5-7 in league play, a half-game behind fourth-place Central.

Van Buren stretched its lead to as many as 10 points to start the third quarter. Keri Arnold’s jumper at the 3:55 mark gave the Pointerettes a 27-17 lead, but Rock cut that lead in half with a three and two free throws that made it 27-22 by the 2:51 mark.

Defense made the difference in the end, as the Lady Panthers held Van Buren 1 of 7 from the floor in the fourth quarter, while outscoring them 14-5. Glover hit two free throws with 3:19 left to pull Cabot to within two, and Shelby Ashcraft knotted it up with a putback at the 2:48 mark. Rock gave the Lady Panthers their first lead of the game with less than two minutes left with her second three-point basket of the night to make it 35-32, and Cabot never trailed again.

A struggle for both teams in the first quarter was a sign of things to come in the sloppy contest. The first field goal of the night came at the 4:14 mark when Amy Waldon tied the game for Van Buren at 2-2 after Shelby Ashcraft put up two foul shots for Cabot in the first minute.

The Lady Panthers continued scoreless from the floor until junior post Sarah Moore hit from the paint with 1:43 left in the opening period. Lindsay Hoggatt scored the only other Cabot goal of the first quarter on a putback with 1:04 left, but Van Buren added two more before the end of the frame for a 10-6 lead.

The Lady Panthers finished the game 11 of 44 from the field, while Van Buren was 10 of 38.

Van Buren finished with 30 rebounds, with 28 for Cabot. Cabot also suffered 17 turnovers, but the Pointerettes were even more careless with 25 miscues.

Ashcraft led the Lady Panthers with six rebounds, with six blocks for Moore. Waldon led Van Buren with 15 points and 10 rebounds.