On Friday night the Cabot Panthers traveled to Searcy to take on the Lions, trying to spoil their senior night.
The Cabot Lady Panthers lost their last conference game of the season against the Searcy Lady Lions, 54-39. Cabot came out strong in the first quarter with 14 points, and leading by two at the end of one.
From there Cabot and Searcy played two evenly matched quarters leaving the Lady Panthers down by three going into the fourth quarter.
Cabot kept the deficit at three a couple times, but foul trouble and easy layups allowed the Lady Lions to pull away, outscoring the Lady Panthers by 12 and winning by 15.
Ally Van Enk led the Lady Panthers with nine points. Elliot Taylor added eight.Danielle McWilliams and Alyssa Hamilton each finished with six. Abbey Allgood had four. CoCo Calhoon added three. Jaylin Bridges finished with two, and Riley Patterson added a free throw.
The Lady Panthers will play the Rogers Lady Mounties in the first round of the Class 7A state tournament in Fayetteville today at 4 o’clock.
The Cabot Panthers spoiled Searcy’s senior night with a hard-fought 52-42 victory.
Cabot came out playing great defense, not allowing a Searcy point until the 1:49 mark in the first quarter.
Cabot led 11-5 at the end of the first quarter. The Panthers then scored another 11 points the second quarter, going into halftime with a 22-16 lead. Ryan Stafford scored 10 of his team-high 15 points in the second quarter after what seemed as a re-dislocation of his finger in the first.
Searcy crept back up thanks in large part to the three ball.
But with clutch free throws and stingy defense the Panthers were able to pull away from the Lions.
When asked about his team’s confidence heading into the state tournament this upcoming week coach Jerry Bridges said, “I think we have a lot of confidence right now, the kids believe in what we’re doing, and for the most part we’re shooting good shots, and everyone has bought into playing defense.”
Ryan Stafford led the team with 15 points. Michael Smith finished with 10. Kyle Thielemier and Clayton Vaught each had eight. Hunter York and Jake Ferguson finished with five, and A.I. Iglesias had one.
The Panthers will play the Bryant Hornets in the first round of the Class 7A state tournament tonight at 8:30 at Fayetteville High School.