The Cabot Panthers had a fourth quarter lead, but couldn’t hold on in a 57-49 loss to the Paragould Rams last week at Panther Arena.
A big part of the reason the Rams were able to come back were the flurry of fouls called on the Panthers in the fourth quarter.
Paragould was 17 of 22 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter alone. The Panthers went into the final period holding a 36-33 lead. A Michael Smith bucket made the score 38-35 early in the fourth. A three-pointer by the Rams, followed by a pair of free throws 20 seconds later gave the visitors a lead they would not relinquish.
The two teams shot just 23 free throws combined over the first three quarters. Cabot was four of seven from the line in the fourth.
Smith led the Panthers with 13 points, including six in the fourth quarter. Kyle Thielemier was next with 10 points for the home team.
Hunter York added five points. Bryan Shrum scored four. Brett Frazier had three. Jake Ferguson scored two while Jeremiah Penner and Ryan Stafford each added a free throw.
Cabot trailed Paragould 23-20 at halftime, but quickly took the lead in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Thielemier had the hot hand in the quarter, scoring eight of his 10 points in the third. Clayton Vaught was also hot in the quarter, draining a pair of three-pointers in the opening 90 seconds, as the Panther began the second half with a 10-point run.
Vaught’s three-pointer before the buzzer in the first quarter gave the Panthers an 11-9 lead. Vaught finished with nine points.
While Paragould got the benefit of some whistles in the fourth quarter, they also gave themselves many more chances with the ball. The Rams outrebounded the Panthers 28-14. Paragould’s Chase Brittingham led all players with 21 points and 11 rebounds.