The Cabot Panthers got some easy baskets down the stretch against the Bryant Hornets and pulled away for a 74-52 win on the road.
The Panthers shot over 50 percent for the game as the offense showed a lot of balance.
"We got a few easy layups from our post guys, while our perimeter shooters did a good job too," said Cabot coach Jerry Bridges. "It really was a good overall team showing."
Bryant tried to trap and extend their defense in the second half to force turnovers. Cabot was able to beat those traps and get some easy passes under the basket, where Adolpho Iglesias converted for 14 points. York mixed in a little inside with his outside game to leas all scorers with 16 points.
Hunter Southerland scored nine points, while Garrett Rowe and Jake Ferguson each scored eight points.
Ferguson is getting back into basketball form after starring on the football field.
"I liked what I saw from Jake last night," Bridges said. "He became a good shooter for us over the summer and you could see that getting there last night."
The Panthers will face a tougher test on Friday when they take on the North Little Rock Wildcats.
"They’re the bar in our conference right now, so we’ll see how we measure up," said Bridges. "I think if we can get in our halfcourt game, we can get some good shots against them. Hopefully we’ll make some of those and we’ll see what happens."
The Cabot Panthers made it to the finals of the Beebe Holiday Tournament over Christmas Break, taking second place in the tournament. Pulaski Academy won the first place trophy.
Marching to the finals, Cabot made it past Brookland 50-43 and outlasted Harding Academy 48-41.
Against Brookland in the first round, the Panthers got a big game from Michael Smith to take the win. Smith led all scorers with 17 points against the scrappy smaller school. Adolpho Iglesias had his best game of the tournament, scoring nine points. Nick Thomas was second to Smith with 12 points, including eight points in the deciding fourth quarter.
Garrett Rowe scored eight points in the win. Hunter Southerland was held to three points, while Jake Ferguson had two, but both would prove important offensively in the next two games.
Cabot was tied with Harding Academy 21-21 at halftime of the second round game, but came on strong in the second half.
Hunter York was back for the Panthers after missing the first game and led Cabot with 13 points. Southerland was next with nine points — all in the second half when the Panthers surged into the lead.
Rowe and Ferguson contributed eight points apiece while also adding solid defense.
The championship game against the Pulaski Academy Bruins saw Cabot holding a lead in the early in the fourth quarter, but a run by the Bruins put them ahead to stay, on the way to a 60-52 win.
A three-pointer by York, followed by a bucket in the paint by Smith put the Panthers ahead 45-44 with 6:37 left to play.
Pulaski Academy went on an 11-0 run over the next two minutes to take control of the game.
Cabot got as close as two possessions away in the final minutes, but couldn’t complete the comeback.
York led the Panthers with 16 points, including hitting four three-pointers in the second half. Thomas scored 10 points, but was held scoreless in the fourth. Rowe scored 11 points, while Smith added nine points.