Cabot muscles past Hornets

Photos by Kevin Nagle

It’s a natural inclination: When the shots aren’t falling on offense, it affects your defense. Conversely, when you’re racking up points, it should provide a defensive spark.

Bryant's Rickey Buchanan tries to get a shot away in the teeth of the Cabot defense. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Bryant’s Rickey Buchanan tries to get a shot away in the teeth of the Cabot defense. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

On Monday night, the former was the plight for the Bryant Hornets and the latter was the case for the Cabot Panthers. The result was a 74-52 victory for Cabot at the Hornets Nest.

The challenge for a basketball team is, of course, to react to such offensive struggles by intensifying the defense, ratcheting up the effort even more, giving yourself a chance to stay close enough that, down the stretch, the shots might start falling and you rack up a win anyway. Also, often enough, tough defense creates offense.

The Hornets have had games in which they’ve done that but it’s been a struggle to meet that challenge every night. It’s a process to find it consistently and there’s some urgency in their quest now as South Conference play begins this Friday at Benton, against one of the league favorites.

It was the fourth time the Hornets have surrendered over 70 points in game this season, all losses. Cabot shot 52 percent from the field while the Hornets finished at 42 percent, though they were at 35 percent through the first three quarters.

“We need practices where everybody’s there,” said Hornets coach Mike Abrahamson. “With the conference routine, where we’re not playing tournaments, games two or three days in a row, you can improve in practice. We’re going to have at least two practices between every game.

“We just have guys that are standing and watching,” he said. “If you’re doing those things you can’t make the rotations in the plays that you need to make. When we get that, we’re making stops, we’re making plays.

“I just hope with consistent practices with the routine of being back in school and having everybody there, we can find our niche on how we can slow teams down and not score 70 on us,” the coach emphasized. “Started by not standing, not watching.”

Cedarrian Crosby soars toward the hoop in front of a Cabot defender. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Cedarrian Crosby soars toward the hoop in front of a Cabot defender. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Bigger and stronger, the Panthers dominated the boards with 13 of its 38 caroms coming on the offensive end. Bryant finished with 19 rebounds and 15 turnovers.

The Panthers clogged up the driving lanes and, when the Hornets got through, made it tough to get clean shots.

“I think if we make a few more passes — two, three, four more passes — things are opened up a little bit better for us,” said Hornets coach Mike Abrahamson. “I think, for the most part, the kids were trying to do the right things on offense and be aggressive but I think we needed to be a little more patient. I think that’s something that’s still being learned unfortunately.

“But those kids at Cabot are well-coached,” he noted. “They’ve been doing the same thing since seventh grade, which is a continuity deal that we don’t have. That’s no excuse. It’s frustrating.”

The Panthers gained the upper hand with a 15-2 run in the first half. Bryant had managed a 10-8 lead going into the final few seconds of the opening quarter. C.J. Rainey had slashed to the hoop for a layup, Kevin Hunt and Desmond Duckworth had buried 3’s and Cedarrian Crosby had scored off an offensive rebound.

But Cabot point guard Hunter York beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer to make it 11-10 going into the second quarter. That ignited the run and the Panthers never trailed again.

York led all scorers with 16 points including three triples and a 7-of-8 performance at the free-throw line. Adolpho Iglesias came off the bench to added 14, mostly inside, and Garrett Rowe had 10.

Desmond Duckworth (2) drives around Cabot's Hunter York. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Desmond Duckworth (2) drives around Cabot’s Hunter York. (Photo by Kevin Nagle)

Crosby led Bryant with 12 points. Greyson Giles finished with 9 and Duckworth 8.

Crosby had Bryant’s lone basket during the Cabot run, which produced a 23-12 lead. He stopped the surge with a steal and layup. The Panthers’ Jake Ferguson and Bryant’s Caleb Strain traded 3’s and by the end of the half, it was 31-19.

A strong move by freshman Romen Martin, who sat with foul trouble for most of the first half, opened the second half. But Cabot put together a 12-3 run after that. Again Crosby’s three-point play was the only interruption during that stretch.

Giles splashed a 3 and, after a Cabot basket, so did Strain to make it 45-30. The Panthers, however, added two buckets in the final 30 seconds of the quarter and the two teams pretty much traded points through the fourth period when Abrahamson started subbing five players at a time at regular intervals. Duckworth, a freshman, had 5 points during the quarter and sophomore Kris Croom stepped in to score 6.

Midway through the period, trailing by 19, the Hornets got a basket from Crosby and two free throws from Giles to cut it to 15 again but that was as close as they could get.

The Hornets pressed and trapped to try to fuel a comeback but Cabot took advantage of their risks with a number of layups that pushed the lead to as much as 24.


Score by quarters

Cabot  11       20       18       25 — 74

Bryant            10       9          11       22 — 52


York 3-9 7-8 16, Thomas 2-6 0-0 4, Rowe 3-5 4-9 10, Southerland 4-5 1-2 9, Smith 2-06 3-4 7, Iglesias 7-8 0-1 14, Penner 2-3 0-0 4, Ferguson 3-6 0-0 8, Dixon 1-3 0-0 2, Casteel 0-1 0-0 0, Zulch 0-0 0-0 0, Hill 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-52 15-24 74.


Rainey 1-5 0-0 2, Hunt 1-2 0-0 3, Crosby 5-11 2-5 12, Martin 2-6 2-2 6, Buchanan 0-1 0-0 0, Giles 2-6 4-4 9, Strain 2-2 0-0 6, Duckworth 3-5 0-0 8, Croom 2-5 1-2 6, Peters 0-0 0-1 0. Totals 18-43 9-14 52.

Three-point field goals: Bryant 7-19 (Duckworth 2-03, Strain 2-2, Croom 1-3, Giles 1-3, Hunt 1-1, Martin 0-3, Crosby 0-3, Rainey 0-1), Cabot 5-12 (York 3-7, Ferguson 2-3, Thomas 0-2). Rebounds: Bryant 19 (Crosby 7, Strain 2), Cabot 38 (Thomas 8). Turnovers: Bryant 15, Cabot 13. Team fouls: Bryant 25, Cabot 17.

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