The Cabot Panthers overcame some early adversity to beat the Fort Smith Southside Mavericks 61-43 in the finals of the Citizens Bank Classic on Saturday night.
The Panthers are now 5-1 on the season. They also beat Subiaco Academy 64-47 in the first round and Mountain Home 54-19 in the semifinals.
In the win over Southside, Cabot trailed 12-8 after one quarter. Cabot senior senior Noah Allgood picked up three quick fouls in the first quarter.
Cabot outscored the Mavericks 19-5 in the second quarter to lead 27-17 at halftime. The scoring continued in the second half with the Panthers outscoring Southside 15-12 in the third quarter and 19-14 in the fourth quarter.
“I felt like we got better every game,” Bridges said. “They are starting to buy in to playing defense like we stress. I was really pleased. We faced a little bit of adversity in the game.
“Noah got three fouls in the first quarter before you could blink an eye. I may have lost my composure for a moment but the kids responded well and picked me up.”
Bridges said he’s got a good mix of seniors and sophomores that are playing well together.
“We know we aren’t going to be real big but we’ve got quickness. With quickness, you can be a good defensive team. They are taking pride in that.”
Bridges said his team is balanced and shoots the ball well.
“I know in the first two games we shot over 50 percent from three,” he said. “In the second game, six different people made them. I think that is our strength. If we take care of the ball and get shots, we can compete, I feel like,”
Against Southside, Cabot made nine 3-pointers.
Jalen Brown led the Panthers with 23 points. Jacob Hudson had 10. Mario May had eight. Jaren Vance had six. Landon Vaught and Christian Weir had five points each. T.J. Rogers had three. Ayden Shurley and Allgood had two points each.
In the win over the Bombers, Cabot led 34-9 at halftime.
Brown led Cabot with 10 points. Weir and Vaught had nine points each. Vance, Hudson and May had six each. Jackson Muse scored three. Patrick Dickinson and Allgood had two points each. Carson Walker added a free throw.
In the win over Subiaco, Cabot led 33-24 at halftime and 46-36 after three quarters.
Allgood led Cabot with 19 points. Brown had 14. Vance added 11. May scored seven. Scoring four each were Weir and Vaught. Muse had three. Hudson had two.
Next up is the Pre-Holiday Classic with Cabot facing Pulaski Academy on Tuesday in pool play. Cabot would then play again at 7 p.m. on Friday with the finals on Saturday.
Pool 1 is Cabot, Searcy and Pulaski Academy with Pool 2 being Catholic, Lonoke and Jacksonville Lighthouse.
Cabot girls basketball:
Cabot kicked off the Pre-Holiday Classic on Tuesday with a game against Class 5A Little Rock McClellan.
Winner plays the winner of Searcy-Pine Bluff on Friday with the gamming tipping off at 5:30 p.m. The loser of Tuesday’s game plays the loser of Searcy-Pine Bluff at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. The championship game is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Teams on the other side of the bracket are Beebe-Pulaski Academy and Lonoke-Maumelle.