Both Central Arkansas Christian basketball teams hammered Lisa Academy West on Friday to improve to 2-0 in 3A-6 conference play.
Steve Quattlebaum’s Lady Mustangs rolled, 66-11, to improve to 4-0 overall. Matt Hall’s Mustangs prevailed, 65-31, to move to 4-3.
“It’s good to get to 2-0 because we won a good one against Episcopal, who shared the title with us (last week), and that’ll hold us over for a little while,” Quattlebaum said. “This season, you don’t know how many you’re going to get to play and which ones will count, so any you can get will take you a long way.”
In the girls game, CAC raced out to a 33-7 lead after one quarter and built it to 41-10 at halftime. The Lady Mustangs won the third quarter, 17-0, and the fourth, 8-1. They outshot the outmanned Lady Jaguars, 53 percent to 18 percent.
Quattlebaum said last year’s game at Lisa was one of the most frustrating of the season for him.
“Our kids just went through the motions and didn’t play, but this time at least they competed,” he said. “I think our kids feel sorry for teams sometimes and don’t want to beat them really bad. Those games are hard, but I thought we did a lot better at that this time. We continued to play some defense and took some good shots.
“Our kids are too tender-hearted. But I tell them, ‘You’ve still got to play, still got to compete. I understand; I’m not going to let you score 100 points, but you’ve got to play.’ I’ve been in that situation where you’re outmanned like that, and you don’t want your opponent just to quit playing.”
Twelve CAC players scored. Ava Knoedl led with 17 points; Bethany Dillard added 13.
“We got to play a lot of our young kids, which we haven’t had a chance to do much,” Quattlebaum said. “It was good to see some of them play.”
In the boys game, CAC also got off to a hot start, building a 28-6 lead after one quarter and taking a 42-16 advantage into halftime. Eleven Mustangs scored, led by Tyler Williams’ 11 points in 12 minutes.
“We did what we were supposed to do,” Hall said. “I thought we looked really good in the first quarter. We played hard and did some good things.”
Next up for the Lady Mustangs is a trip to Watson Chapel (2-5) on Friday for a non-conference game at 7:15 p.m. The two schools were previously in the same junior high conference.
“We haven’t played Chapel in a long time, but we’ve got a lot of respect for their coach,” Quattlebaum said. “They’re young this year, but they’ve got multiple state championships, and their kids are used to winning. It will be a good game for us. They’re always real physical and well coached.”
Class 5A Greenbrier (8-1) will visit Mustang Mountain on Monday, Dec. 21, at 6 p.m.
“I think this bunch they’ve got now got after us pretty good in junior high,” Quattlebaum said. “It’ll be a challenge. They’ve beaten some good teams.”
After a season-opening loss to Harrison, the Panthers reeled off eight straight wins heading into Friday’s game with Beebe.
Quattlebaum said he expected the Panthers to press, which would be good practice for his team.
Hall’s Mustangs are also scheduled to play host to Greenbrier on Monday, Dec. 21. The Class 5A Panthers were 3-3 heading into Tuesday’s game against Hot Springs Lakeside.
“It’ll be a good, competitive game for us,” Hall said. “They’re a bigger school, and I’m not really sure how good they are. But it will be a good opportunity to see where we are and give us some things to work on over the break since we’re probably not going to get another game until Jan. 4.”
Instead of the usual holiday tournaments, the Mustangs will get plenty of time on the practice floor over the winter break.
“We’ve only had a handful of practices with the whole team,” Hall said, referring to late arrivals from football and injuries. “We’ll have an opportunity to have some practice time together and get some guys in better shape.”
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