CAC basketball: Lady Mustangs get first win

Central Arkansas Christian’s Lady Mustangs rang up their first win of the season Monday, escaping Mountain View, 53-52, at Bergman.

Riley Bryant was fouled with no time left and hit two free throws to seal the win.

“Just getting a win makes all the difference in the world,” said coach Steve Quattlebaum, whose team moved to 1-3. “That gives you a lot of confidence. We had a good comeback. I think we were down four or six in the last minute.”

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Mountain View led after the first quarter, 18-11; and at halftime, 30-23. The Lady Mustangs won the third quarter, 21-15, to pull within 45-44.

“They were up one with about 12 seconds left, and we got a five-second call on them on the sideline,” Quattlebaum said. “Ava (Knoedl) went for the last shot driving to the basket, but the ball got knocked out of bounds with 1.2 seconds left. We set up an inbounds play from our sideline. Riley popped open at the block and we hit her, but a girl fouled her with no time left. She stepped up there and hit two free throws to win the game.”

Bryant finished with 24 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. Knoedl had 22 points, three steals and two rebounds. Livian Burton recorded nine rebounds, two deflections and an assist.

“It’d be a little better if we didn’t have Melbourne coming in on Monday,” Quattlebaum said.

Melbourne, the three-time defending Class 2A state champion, is impressive, he said.

“I watched them play (Pulaski Academy), the No. 1 team in (Class) 4A, in a benefit game, and Melbourne drilled them,” he said. “They beat a good Trumann team, 45-12; and Jonesboro, the Class 5A defending champion, 51-35.

“They lost one of their best players (Jenna Lawrence), who has committed to Arkansas, when she transferred to Farmington. They look like a team on a mission to prove they can win without her. It’ll be a struggle for us.”

The Melbourne game is part of the CAC Classic, which will run Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at Mustang Mountain. The girls schedule Monday includes Baptist Prep against Maumelle Charter at 4 p.m. with CAC-Melbourne at 7. Tuesday’s slate includes Bryant-Clinton at 4 p.m. and CAC-Maumelle Charter at 7. The girls event will conclude Thursday with CAC-Sheridan at 4.

The boys schedule includes Baptist Prep against Maumelle Charter at 5:30 p.m. Monday; Baptist Prep against Little Rock Flames at 5:30 and CAC-Maumelle Charter at 8:30 Tuesday and Maumelle Charter-LR Flames at 5:30 and CAC-Baptist Prep at 7 Thursday.

Both CAC teams will travel to Drew Central on Saturday, Dec. 4. The Lady Mustangs will face Star City; the Mustangs will play Drew Central.