The hometown defending 5A South Conference Tournament Champs' Hope Bobcats took their talents on the road for league competition in the first meeting against the Class 6A El Dorado Wildcats in the blended 5A-6A Conference basketball action Friday night.

The hometown defending 5A South Conference Tournament Champs' Hope Bobcats took their talents on the road for league competition in the first meeting against the Class 6A El Dorado Wildcats in the blended 5A-6A Conference basketball action Friday night. The Bobcats had a tough and challenging match-up to overcome and went down in defeat to the Wildcats 73-41. In first half play, the Cats got outscored 20-8 at the end of opening period action.

In the second, the Bobcats produced a double-digit scoring period to drop 17 points on the scoreboard, but the Wildcats matched it and poured 27 points. At halftime, the Cats trailed El Dorado 47-25.

In the second half, the Cats struggled to score and was held to seven points total as the Wildcats dropped 26 points for third and fourth quarters combined. Both teams held each other under double-digits in the fourth with El Dorado posting three points and the Cats with six points.

For the game, Bobcats' Keith Brown led scoring with 13 points for the lone player in double-figures. Nate Carter and Zakee Lawson each scored six points apiece.

The Cats shot 36 percent from the field, hit 13-of-18 free-throws for 72 percent, made 18 points in the paint and nine second chance points. Hope totaled for 25 rebounds off the glass, had six deflections, one steal and committed 12 team fouls against El Dorado.

This Friday night, the Cats will return back home to welcome their conference tourney runner-up hoopsters from Spa City the Hot Springs Trojans for Friday night hoops showdown at Jones Field House Gymnasium. This will be the series finale between the two talented clubs as Hope fell to Hot Springs in their season-opener back on November 14 in Spa City.