For their first home performance on the hardwood in front of the Jones Field House Gymnasium fans, the hometown Hope Bobcats secured victory hosting the De Queen Leopards 48-44 in their season home-opener Tuesday night for conference basketball action.

For their first home performance on the hardwood in front of the Jones Field House Gymnasium fans, the hometown Hope Bobcats secured victory hosting the De Queen Leopards 48-44 in their season home-opener Tuesday night for conference basketball action.

The Cats started out sparking in opening quarter play led by their duo leading scorers of Keith Brown making an alley-oop pass to Jaloni Davis for the basket to put the Cats up 2-0 at the 7:46 mark. Davis followed making 2-of-3 free-throws at the foul line to keep the Cats head at 4-2 over De Queen.

The Leopards would split at the foul line at the 4:40 mark, but Davis posted his third basket from the field then Nate Carter made a steal defensively in the transition and dished out to Brown for the basket to extend the Hope lead 8-3 at the 2:38 mark. Down to the 1:41 mark, Jay Conway converted a three-point play scoring on the continuation being fouled and making the free-throw put Hope ahead 11-5. Brown finished off the period connecting on both free-throws in the closing seconds with the Cats leading De Queen 13-6 to end first quarter action.

In the second, Chris Moore drained a shot from the field to extend the Cats lead to 15-6 at the 6:54 mark. The Leopards answered back with scoring production in the quarter to post eight points, but the Cats dropped 13 points in the period. Brown led the scoring surge with five points scored, Zakee Lawson, Antowone Casteel and Carter each made a bucket apiece to put the Bobcats ahead at halftime over De Queen, 26-14.

In the third, the Cats came out the locker room for more productivity on both sides of the ball offensively and defensively in third quarter action. The Cats outscored De Queen 10-7 to hold the Leopards under double-digits defensively. At the end of three periods of action, the Bobcats remained in command for an 36-21 lead over De Queen.

In the fourth, the Cats held an 15 point advantage in very much control, but the Leopards didn't go away lightly and melt down their deficit to three points of Hope's lead 47-44 under a minute to play in the game. De Queen committed a foul with 12 seconds that sent Carter to the charity stripe and made 1-of-2 free-throws to push the Cats' lead to 48-44. De Queen would fall short to score in the closing second that secured the victory for Hope. The Bobcats dropped 12 points in the basket in the fourth quarter with Lawson, Brown, Davis and Carter all contributed to scoring in the final period despite the Leopards outscoring Hope with 13 points in the fourth.

For the game, Bobcats' Brown led scoring with a season-high 18 points with two trey's and Davis dropped 10 points for double-figures. Lawson added five points including a key steal and scoring the basket in the fourth quarter. Carter and Conway each had five points apiece, Moore and Casteel finished with two points apiece.

With the win, the Bobcats improved to 2-2 overall and 1-2 in 5A-6A Conference. The Cats tip-off in the Gunslinger tournament on Thursday Dec. 7 and continue play Friday and Saturday in New Boston, Texas. Following tournament play, the Cats return to home hoops next Friday Dec.15 hosting Arkansas High Razorbacks for 5A-6A Conference play at Jones Field House Gymnasium.