Like many Arkansans, Steve Quattlebaum lost power as a result of the Christmas night snowstorm, and his week didn’t get much better after that.
Quattlebaum, the basketball coach at Central Arkansas Christian, saw his Lady Mustangs sputter to a 1-1 record in their first two games in the Summit Bank Spa City Shootout in Hot Springs. They played Hot Springs on Monday for third place in the tournament they won last year.
"We’re not playing very good," he said Sunday. "I don’t know what it is. Ever since that Malvern game (a 52-40 loss Dec. 11), we haven’t played very good. Maybe we’ll get back in a routine and do better, but we’re just not very good right now."
After returning to school Jan. 7, the Lady Mustangs (10-4, 1-1 in the 7-4A conference at press time) will resume conference play when Bauxite visits Mustang Mountain on Tuesday, Jan. 8.
"They’re pretty good," Quattlebaum said of the Lady Miners, unbeaten in conference play at press time. "Right now, they’re probably better than us. I watched them play (Pulaski) Robinson. We played them in the summer and beat them pretty good one time, and they beat us when we were without (Falan) Miller.
"They’re one of the other teams that has a chance to win (the conference). They lost to Malvern in overtime in an early tournament. They’re probably one of the best teams in (Class) 4A."
At the Hot Springs tournament last week, the Lady Mustangs beat Hot Springs Lakeside in the first round, 47-43, before falling to Lake Hamilton in the semifinals, 44-42. The tournament was postponed a day because of the Christmas snowstorm.
"We didn’t even practice; we just went and played," Quattlebaum said. "We were up 22-8 in the first game and just won by four. Against Lake Hamilton, we were up 18-6 and then got outscored 28-6 over a period of time."
Against Lakeside, CAC held a heavy rebounding edge, outrebounding the Lady Rams by 36-24, including 20-11 in the second half. Sydnie Jones had 21 points and 14 rebounds, including 12 points and eight rebounds after halftime. The Lady Mustangs had multiple double-digit leads before settling for the four-point win. Miller added 10 points; point guard Sarah Butler recorded seven points, six assists, six rebounds, four steals and two blocked shots.
Against Lake Hamilton, the Lady Mustangs rallied from a 34-25 deficit to start the fourth quarter. CAC went up by one twice late, first on Miller’s free throw, 40-39, and then on a field goal, 42-41, before Karli Herron hit a three-pointer with 15 seconds left to claim the win for the Lady Wolves.
Miller and Jones led the Lady Mustangs with 18 and 16 points, respectively.
Quattlebaum said his team would practice a couple of days late in the week in hopes of getting back in their rhythm for the new year.
If he could just get his power back on, that would be a good start.