The Cabot Lady Panthers were bound to lose one eventually, and that first loss came last week to a red hot Conway Lady Wampus Cats team.
Conway began pulling away late in the third quarter on the way to a 90-64 win over Cabot at Buzz Bolding Arena in Conway.
The game was tied at 41-41 at halftime and Conway held a slim 52-50 lead with less than three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Lady Cats closed out the third quarter on a 17-2 run and built on that lead in the fourth quarter.
Lady Panther senior point guard Jaylin Bridges picked up her fourth foul early in the third quarter, forcing her to the bench to try to avoid fouling out early. While on the bench, Conway’s full-court press took advantage of having a slightly less experienced group of Lady Panthers on the court.
Conway didn’t have a ton of experience on the court at times - starting four sophomores - but the return of senior Enjonae Chambers from summer shoulder surgery gave the Lady Cats a boost. In her first real action on the court since the surgery, Chambers led all scorers with 26 points. Chambers has been an All-State player her sophomore and junior seasons.
The Lady Panthers fell behind early, but came back to lead most of the second quarter. Cabot did a lot of tough work inside, with Eliot Taylor leading the Lady Panthers with 21 points, while sophomore Alyssa Hamilton added 17 points and eight rebounds. Bridges did come back in the game in the fourth quarter and finished with 10 points.
The loss dropped the Lady Panthers to 4-1 on the young season. They took on the Paragould Lady Rams Tuesday night at Panther Arena.
The Cabot Panthers faced a very tough test last week in their first game of the season, and fell 64-44 to the Wampus Cats at Conway.
Besides having to deal with playing on the road, the Panthers were dealing with a pair of dangerous Cats.
Tim Boyd was a thorn in Cabot’s side last season, scoring half of his team’s points and draining a buzzer-beating three to win at Cabot the last time the two former conference foes faced off. The Wampus Cats are also featuring freshman Adrian Moore this year, one of the more highly regarded ninth-graders in the country.
The freshman Moore led all scorers with 22 points. Boyd had the game’s second highest total with 16 points.
A three-point play by Michael Smith pulled the Panthers to within a point at 8-7 midway through the opening quarter, but a 13-0 run by Conway that lasted into the second quarter gave them control at 21-7. The Cats extended that lead to 37-22 at halftime. Another run early in the third quarter gave the talented Wampus Cats firm control of the contest.
Smith finished as Cabot’s leading scorer with 11 points, followed by eight points from Kyle Thielemier, who had a pair of three-pointers. Ryan Stafford also had eight points for Cabot. Adolpho Iglesias and Brett Frazier each had four points, with Penner also adding four points. Jake Ferguson scored three and Bryan Shrum had two points.