The hometown Hope Bobcats made their return to the hardwood after a week off from action on Tuesday night for road competition in 5A South Conference play against Hot Springs Lakeside Rams at the Lakeside Athletic Complex facility.

The hometown Hope Bobcats made their return to the hardwood after a week off from action on Tuesday night for road competition in 5A South Conference play against Hot Springs Lakeside Rams at the Lakeside Athletic Complex facility.

The Cats looked to even the series match-up on the road, but the Rams prevailed for a 64-40 win to sweep the season league meetings against visiting Hope. The Bobcats will be back in conference play Friday night on the road to face their school arch-rivals Magnolia Panthers at Panther Arena.

HOPE 40, LAKESIDE 64

In early first half play, the Cats kept the contest close with only a 16-10 deficit to the Rams at the end of opening quarter action. In the second, the Cats got outscored 18-11 with the Rams taking an 34-21 lead advantage going into the locker room over the Bobcats at halftime.

In the second half, the Rams opened the game with hot shooting from the field and behind the arc that led to Hope losing the scoring battle 24-6 in the third quarter. In the fourth, the Rams only had six points scored with Hope posting a double-digit period with 13 points, but Lakeside's early spark soared them to the 26-point home win.

The Bobcats shot 41 percent from the field and hit 5-for-8 free-throws for 63 percent from the foul line. Hope scored nine transition points with eight points off turnovers, five second chance points and 28 points in the paint. The Cats totaled for 21 rebounds with 11 offensive and 10 defensive, dished out five assist, four deflections, five steals and one block.

Lakeside shot 65 percent from the field and 50 percent behind the arc going 15-for-30 for 3-pointers made and shot 7-for-9 for 77 percent at the foul line that really was a difference factor in the game.

For the game, Bobcats' Keith Brown led scoring with 18 points for double-figures with six rebounds, one assist, three deflections and two blocks. Mykel Horton followed with six points, three rebounds, one deflection and steal. Christian Moore and Zakee Lawson each added five points apiece. Moore had three rebounds and one steal and Lawson snatched four rebounds with a steal. Nate Carter scored two points with four assists and David Horton finished with two points in nine minutes of action.

Tonight's match-up in Magnolia will be the series finale between the Cats and the Panthers as Hope lost a close battle in the first meeting Jan. 9 at Jones Field House Gymnasium. Magnolia edged off the Bobcats 36-31. Hope looks to seek redemption for a tough road contest to be victorious in league play at Panther Arena.