The Cabot Panthers hit the road last week, coming up a little short against powerhouse Jonesboro, then taking it out against Searcy on Friday.
Jonesboro beat Cabot 59-41 Tuesday night, but never ran away with the game. The Panthers were down by four at halftime, but the constant pressure from the Golden Hurricane let them go on a short run in the third to extend the lead.
“They beat us by 18, but it was closer than that,” said Cabot coach Jerry Bridges. “But we’re not in this for moral victories. They just wore us down. The package they present you, with the personnel they have, is tough. Wes (Swift) is doing a great job over there.”
The Hurricane are deep with athletes and are one of the quickest teams in the state.
“We’re getting closer against teams like that, teams like North Little Rock,” Bridges said. “We just need to be able to handle it for 32 minutes. We’re getting there.”
Friday night in Searcy, the Panthers put together their best defensive performance of the season in a 48-19 win.
The score was 11-11 after the first quarter, and 14-14 early in the second quarter. The Cabot defense dominated from that point on. The Lions scored three points in the second quarter, two in the third and three in the fourth.
“The was the best I’ve seen our defense look this year,” Bridges said. “We played really well all around and were really contesting their shots.”
Offensively, the Panthers have stayed a balanced team.
“We’ve got a good team and everybody shares the ball, which is what it takes for us,” said Bridges. “AI (Adolpho Iglesias) is going to come in and give us six to eight points. Mike (Michael Smith) is going to come in and give us six to eight points. (Hunter) York is going to get his. Jake (Ferguson) is looking more comfortable out there. Now we’ll see if we can do something like that against North Little Rock.”
The Panthers finished the first half of conference play at 4-3. In the 7A-Central power rankings, the Panthers are in third place behind North Little Rock and Fort Smith Northside.