Cabot had a chance for a win against Bryant Friday night, but couldn’t close the deal as the Hornets came back and held on to a 36-33 win at Panther Arena.
The Panthers actually had several chances to take or extend a lead, but the shots just haven’t been falling with consistency.
"We’re missing too many open shots out there," said Cabot coach Jerry Bridges. "It’s frustrating because they’re working so hard and they’re getting the kind of open looks we want, but the shots just aren’t going in. It happens."
Cabot trailed 21-16 at halftime and 30-24 with 6:35 remaining in the game. The Panthers fell to 2-5 with the loss, while Bryant improved to 8-1.
The Panthers went on a run to take the lead over the next four minutes. Kyle Thielemier knocked down a shot, followed by an acrobatic layup by point guard Bryan Shrum to make it a one-possession game. Jake Ferguson came off the bench and knocked down a three-pointer off an inbounds pass from Clayton Vaught with 2:45 left to play to take a 31-30 lead. The lead was the first since the final minutes of the first half.
But the Panthers’ offense fell silent over that final 2:45, only scoring on a pair of technical free throws by Thielemier, taking a 33-31 lead with 2:08 to play.
Besides missing from the field, Cabot missed chances when the front end of a one-and-one was missed, followed by two more missed free throws while protecting a one-point, 33-32 lead. That opened the door for the Hornets to take the lead for good on a three-point play with 51.9 remaining in the game.
"We’re putting ourselves in position to win games," Bridges said. "But we’re missing free throws and not taking care of business."
Michael Smith led the Panthers with 10 points, followed by six points from Shrum and Thielemier. Ferguson scored five points, while Brett Frazier, Ryan Stafford and Vaught each added two points.
Tuesday of last week was a better night for Cabot with the Panthers defeating the Little Rock Catholic Rockets 43-35.
Thielemier led the Panthers this time with 11 points. Vaught scored nine points, Stafford eight, and Shrum six points. Smith scored five points, while Frazier added a bucket for two points.