After dropping four in a row and falling to 2-5 in 7A-Central play, the Cabot Panthers were in dire need of a victory to keep their hopes of making the state tournament for the 11th consecutive season.


Cabot got that much-needed victory Friday night.


The Panthers avenged an earlier loss to Little Rock Catholic by beating the Rockets 53-37 at Panther Arena. With the win, Cabot improves to 3-5 in league play and 15-7 overall.


“I was really proud of our defense,” Cabot coach Jerry Bridges said. “I thought we made them work hard for shots.”


Cabot had a balanced scoring attack, led by Jacob Hudson, who finished with 12. Jalen Brown had 10. Christian Weir and Noah Allgood had eight points each. Landon Vaught had four. Demario May, Jackson Muse and Carson Walker had three points each. Ayden Shurley added two.


“We had good balance as far as scoring goes,” Bridges said. “I’m really proud of how Carson Walker and Jackson Muse hit big threes in the second quarter. That game us some good momentum going into halftime.”


Bridges was high on the play of Hudson.


“Jacob Hudson gave us good minutes off the bench,” he said. “He has been very productive for us the last three games.


“Christian Weir played well for us and Jalen and Noah were very effective. It was a great team effort.”


Cabot trailed only once in the game — 2-0 — before scoring seven in a row. Allgood scored four and May hit a three-pointer.


The Rockets tried to keep it close in the second quarter, tying it at 7-7 before the Panthers outscored Catholic 18-5 the remainder of the period to lead 25-12 at halftime.


Cabot used a 14-0 run in the second and third quarters to open up a 31-12 lead with 7:27 left in the third.


Catholic cut it to 16 at 33-17 with 3:54 left. The Panthers then reeled off seen in a row, including four from Hudson and a three-pointer by Weir, to lead 40-17 with 2:18 left in the third quarter.


The Panthers’ largest lead was 24 points at 49-25 with 3:40 left in the game. That came at the end of another 7-0 run. Allgood scored the first two points then Brown scored five, including a three-pointer.


Cabot played at Fort Smith Southside on Tuesday. The Panthers host Conway on Friday in a rematch of game that the Panthers won in double overtime last month.