Tournament run held up by snow, ice
By Donna Lampkin Stephens
On the eve of his Mustangs’ final game in the Summit Bank Spa City Shootout in Hot Springs, Central Arkansas Christian Christian coach Steve Quattlebaum was pleased with their 1-1 tournament record.
CAC (8-5) fell to Class 5A Hot Springs Lakeside in the first round, 58-45; then beat Malvern, a 7-4A conference foe, for the second time in December, 62-46. The Mustangs faced Hot Springs on Monday in the tournament’s fifth-place game.
"The boys are playing pretty good," Quattlebaum said. "Lakeside’s better than us. They’re a good team. I think they’ll be one that will have a chance in (Class) 5A. We played pretty well, had some spurts where we played pretty well and some where we had to fight back.
"Against Malvern, we played really well. We came out fast and hit some shots early, played good defense early. We had a 16-4 first quarter then we had a good third and fourth quarter. I was proud of their effort."
Lakeside built an 8-1 lead and led by 15-10 after one quarter and 30-19 at the half. CAC pulled within 40-35 after three and got within four early in the fourth before the Rams steadied down the stretch for the win.
Josh Holland led CAC with 14 points.
Against Malvern, the Mustangs got their offense going, outscoring the Leopards’ total before the end of the third quarter and eventually settling for the 16-point win. Logan Stafford led the offense with 17 points. Holland added 15 and Dylan Sherrill 12.
The three-day tournament was to have ended Saturday but was postponed by the Christmas snowstorm.
The Mustangs will return to school Monday, Jan. 7, and play host to Bauxite in a conference game Tuesday, Jan. 8. CAC is 2-0 in conference play.
"The Bauxite boys are pretty solid," Quattlebaum said. "They’re really well coached and do a lot of good things on offense. They will be a real challenge to play defensively; they do a good job spreading the floor."
He predicted the Miners, unbeaten in conference play at press time, would finish third, fourth or fifth in the conference, easily in contention to make the Class 4A State Tournament.
"It will be a good test early in the year," he said. "It ought to be a good one."