A week off and maybe a Thanksgiving dinner can apparently make a lot of difference on the basketball court.
One week removed from giving up 90 points at Conway, the Cabot Lady Panthers beat the Paragould Lady Rams 45-37 at Panther Arena last week. The Lady Rams are the only team to give the Conway Lady Wampus Cats a loss so far this season.
"The girls really come out more focused and ready to play when we’re at home," said Cabot coach Carla Crowder. "We played them last year and the girls knew they’d have everybody back from a team that played in the finals, so they knew it would be a challenge."
The Lady Panthers could have found themselves in trouble when senior point guard Jaylin Bridges picked up her fourth foul with 1:19 remaining in the third quarter.
Ally Van Enk was able to take up a lot of the slack, leading both sides with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Elliot Taylor was right behind Van Enk with 13 points.
Bridges was in foul trouble early against Conway and fouled out just minutes into the third quarter in that loss.
Cabot led 27-13 at halftime and kept a double digit lead into the fourth quarter. Paragould began making a run early in the fourth with Bridges on the bench, and fought their way back to a four-point deficit after Bridges came back into the game midway through the fourth.
The Lady Panthers’ defense came alive down the stretch, denying the Lady Rams any baskets over the final minute, while sealing the win with free throws on the other end.
"I was proud we were able to withstand their run in the fourth," Crowder said. "That’s a really good team and they’ll probably be back in the finals this year."
Bridges scored eight points for the Lady Panthers, while Abby Allgood added four points. Alyssa Hamilton also had four points. Ryan Wilson added a bucket for two points to round out the scoring for Cabot.