Cabot currently owns a 13-game winning streak but Panthers Coach Chris Meseke readily admits tonight's home contest against Conway is his team's biggest test to date.
Meseke is also confident his team will rise to the occasion.
"We passed every test we've had so far," Meseke said. "We've faced different styles, different tempos, different personnels and we've been able to adjust."
The Panthers are coming off a 72-42 road victory at Fort Smith Southside, a game in which Cabot trailed 31-30 at the half. Cabot (14-1, 2-0 6A-Central) held Southside to 11 points in the second half. Southside (5-10, 0-2) was 3 of 21 from the field in the final two quarters.
Junior guard Jackson Muse led the Panthers with 21 points while junior 6-3 forward Jacob Hudson had an all-around effort of 20 points and 18 rebounds.
"I'm glad he came with us [Tuesday] night," Meseke said of Hudson.
Conway (11-3, 2-0) has won its last six games including a 78-71 upset of top-ranked North Little Rock on Tuesday. Cabot and Conway split their two conference games a year ago.
Meseke, who is in his first year as the Panthers' head coach, says its remarkable that his team is in its current condition.
"None of these guys were in the mix last year," Meseke said. "Cabot was a senior-laden team last year so this is the first time these guys have been in the fire. But we're going through it together."
Winning back-to-back games to start the 6A-Central Conference is a big deal, but it becomes even bigger when those two victories were accomplished on the road.
Northside (11-5, 2-0) is in that prime spot thanks to Noah Gordon's last-second three-pointer at Little Rock Central.
"I feel good about it," Northside Coach Eric Burnett said of his team's 2-0 start. "And that's what I told our players. Bryant and Little Rock Central are two really good teams. To go on the road and get two wins, that's a huge bonus for us."
Northside's victory seemed to be in peril when Central's K.D. Arnett completed a three-point play with 7.6 seconds left that gave the Tigers a 44-43 lead, but Gordon answered with his game-winner at the buzzer.
Jacob Joe and Anthony Travis also hit three-pointers in the fourth quarter that helped the Grizzlies overcome a five-point deficit. Northside had missed all six of its three-point attempts in the third quarter.
Northside's 6-9 postman Jaylin Williams led all scorers with 12 points while claiming 8 rebounds and 5 blocks.
"We were trying to go inside more but we were getting double-teamed," Burnett said.
"My two point guards I wish would be more selfish and go score but they are not that type of guys. They would rather pass it out and look for a wide-open three. That's what kept happening."
Northside is at home tonight for a conference game against Little Rock Catholic.
Hot Springs (14-2, 2-0 5A-South) is on a 12-game winning streak. The Trojans defeated Texarkana 74-54 on Tuesday behind a balanced scoring attack -- junior Santiair Thomas (12 points), freshman Jabari West (11 points) and junior Latrell Ellis (10 points). ... Fort Smith Northside's girls (14-0) remain at No. 13 in this week's MaxPreps Top 25. ... Dermott's boys currently have the state's longest winning streak at 18 games; Booneville is second with a 15-game streak. ... Berryville's girls also have a state-best 18-game winning streak.
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Sports on 01/11/2019
Print Headline: 14-1 Cabot facing big test tonight