Basketball: CAC prepares for second trip through conference

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A second win over Episcopal Collegiate on Friday would all but ensure another conference championship for Central Arkansas Christian’s Lady Mustangs.

Steve Quattlebaum’s team improved to 10-0 overall and 7-0 in the 3A-6 conference Tuesday with a 58-30 win at Palestine-Wheatley, despite being without senior leader Bethany Dillard.

“It would be huge,” Quattlebaum said of the possibility of another win over Episcopal to go with the 51-46 decision in December. “That would pretty much sew up the conference. We’d have to lose three conference games to people other than Episcopal. It’d be big.”

But the Lady Mustangs may face their next test without Dillard, who at press time remained in Covid protocol.

“We’re a different team without her, but they’re learning to play, and we’re hoping there’s some chance she’ll be back on Friday, but she may not be,” Quattlebaum said Wednesday night.

Against Palestine-Wheatley, Quattlebaum said the Lady Mustangs got off to a slow start but still led after the first quarter, 19-11; and at halftime, 32-23. They settled things by taking the third quarter, 21-3.

Riley Bryant and Ava Knoedl led CAC with 22 and 20 points, respectively. Most of Knoedl’s scoring was off three-pointers, as she hit six in the game.

CAC will play host to Lisa Academy West (1-9, 0-7), a team it hammered 66-11 last time, on Tuesday.

Mustangs

Matt Hall’s Mustangs improved to 7-4 overall but a more-important 5-1 in conference play with a 62-28 win against Palestine-Wheatley on Tuesday. 

The Mustangs, who trail only Helena-West Helena Central in the league, built their 15-12 first-quarter lead to 27-18 at the break and 40-23 heading into the fourth.

Karsen Richard led CAC with 13 points. Tyler Williams and Jackson Richmond added 10 apiece.

On Friday, the Mustangs will travel to Episcopal, a team they beat last month, 62-32. The Wildcats are 5-9 overall and 2-5 in league play. CAC will play host to Lisa Academy West (0-10, 0-7) on Tuesday after winning the first meeting, 65-31.