The Cabot Lady Panthers may have just put the rest of the state on notice Saturday afternoon that they are serious about repeating as state champs.
Cabot thumped the North Little Rock Lady Charging Wildcats 67-43 in the finals of the Mount St. Mary Heavenly Hoop tournament. The Lady Panthers jumped all over the Wildcats early and never looked back.
"That was a really good win for these girls," said Cabot coach Carla Crowder. "You can’t ever expect to go in and win a game like that, especially against a North Little Rock.’
The Lady Panthers ran out to a 22-6 lead in the first quarter and kept the pressure up throughout. Cabot extended the lead early in the second quarter, before the Lady Cats showed some life late. The Lady Panthers still led 39-20 at halftime and 54-29 after three quarters.
Expectations would be for North Little Rock to make a run at some point to get back in the game, but it just wasn’t to be on this this day. The good mix of veteran Lady Panthers mixed with the newer players just wouldn’t allow the young Lady Wildcats to gain any momentum.
"I thought we let them make a little run there at the end of the half," Crowder said. "But we came out strong again and the young girls did a good job when they came in."
Cabot’s young starter Alyssa Hamilton was a big part of the first quarter run that set the tone for the rest of the night. A sophomore, Hamilton scored 10 points in the quarter and finished with 12 for the game.
Senior Elliot Taylor led the Lady Panthers with 14 points — all in the first three quarters. Taylor scored eight points in the third quarter to take away any ideas of a comeback North Little Rock may have had at halftime.
Ally Van Enk was also in double figures for Cabot, with 10 points.
"I feel like we’re a pretty balanced team," Crowder said. "We can put a lot of girls on the court who have pretty close to the same talent."
Jaylin Bridges scored nine points for Cabot, Danielle McWilliams had seven points, Abbey Allgood also had seven points, while Riley Patterson had three points. Ryan Wilson and Shawna Attendorn each had two points.
Jasmine Mays led North Little Rock with 13 points, while Malica Monk added 10 points.